Sheep trade: No change in base quotes offered
As we approach the Easter weekend, factory agents are currently offering 700-720c/kg for spring lambs. During the week ending March 18, the number of spring lambs slaughtered at Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat plants stood at just 358 – an increase of 344 head on the previous week.
Similar to last week, processors are currently offering 580-600c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance Scheme bonuses) for hoggets. Kildare Chilling is offering an all-in price of 610c/kg (600c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance Scheme bonus).
Kepak Athleague is currently offering 590c/kg and a Quality Assurance Scheme bonus of 5c/kg. Irish Country Meats is quoting an all-in price of 590c/kg (580c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance Scheme bonus).
It must be noted that finishers with larger numbers of sheep to market have been receiving prices above base quotes.
- Kildare Chilling: 600c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
- Kepak Athleague: 590c/kg + 5c/kg QA;
- ICM Camolin: 580c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
- ICM Navan: 580c/kg + 10c/kg QA.
In addition, factory agents are currently offering 300-310c/kg for well-fleshed ewes.
Hogget throughput at Department of Agriculture approved plants stood at 49,606 for the week ending March 18. That’s an increase of 9,986 head or 25% on the week before and a 22% increase when compared to the corresponding period during 2017.
Cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings also increased by 3,099 head or 56% to reach 8,597 head. Furthermore, some 358 spring lambs were slaughtered during the week ending March 18.
In addition, overall supplies increased by 13,429 head or 30%. Cumulative figures for the year to date have reached 551,452 head. This is an increase of 3.4% or 18,826 head compared to the same period in 2017.
- Hoggets: 49,606 head (+3,683 head or +9.5%);
- Spring lambs: 358 head (+344);
- Ewes and rams: 8,597 head (+3,099 head or +9%);
- Total: 58,561 head (+13,429 head or 9.5%).
Larger numbers were reported at Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Monday (March 26). However, according to the mart’s George Candler, some farmers were not as anxious as previous weeks.
Hoggets/lambs peaked at €135/head. Butcher hoggets sold for €2.20-2.70/kg or €125-135/head, while factory hoggets sold for €2.30-2.45/kg or €107-115/head.
- 59kg: €130 or €2.20/kg;
- 56kg: €132 or €2.36/kg;
- 50kg: €135 or €2.70/kg;
- 48kg: €112 or €2.33/kg;
- 47kg: €113 or €2.40/kg;
- 45kg: €110 or €2.44/kg.
In addition, cull ewes sold to a top-price of €140/head.
- 47kg: €135 or €2.87/kg;
- 43kg: €142 or €3.30/kg;
- 41kg: €135 or €3.29/kg;
- 39kg: €122 or €3.13/kg.
An excellent trade in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal was reported by the mart’s manager, Anne Harkin. A large crowd attended the sale as farmers, factory agents and butchers competed for sheep.
- 40kg: €147/head;
- 45kg: €158/head;
- 45kg: €168/head;
- 50kg: €178/head;
- 58kg: €178/head.
On the day, ewes with one lamb at foot sold for €150-200/unit, while ewes with two lambs at foot traded for €200-298/unit. Furthermore, fat ewes made €80-146/head.
- 35-40kg: €90-110/head;
- 40-46kg: €110-130/head;
- 46-50kg: €120-130/head;
- 50-62kg: €130-148/head.
A large sale took place in Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow on Thursday last; some 2,580 sheep passed through the ring.
The first sale of spring lambs for the year took place at the Wexford-venue and an exceptional demand for these lots was reported. Quality spring lambs sold for €145-155/head.
There was also a strong demand for hoggets and cull ewes with prices matching last week’s levels.
- 51kg: €155/head;
- 42kg: €145/head;
- 48kg: €150/head;
- 41kg: €143/head;
- 39kg: €141/head.
According to the mart manager, David Quinn, heavy cull ewes traded for €125-147/head, while lighter lots sold for €60-110/head. Furthermore, in-lamb ewes traded for €125-140/head and ewes with lambs at foot made €135-215/head.
- 56kg: €147/head;
- 54kg: €141.50/head;
- 46kg: €128/head;
- 42kg: €117/head;
- 39kg: €103/head;
- 37kg: €95/head.