No movement in spring lamb quotes – Ewes improve by 10c/kg

Farmers are still waiting on an improvement in spring lamb quotes, as most sheep factories have held the base price for this week at 640c/kg.

Farming organisations, including the IFA and ICSA have called for a base price of 700c/kg for new season spring lamb, which they say is need to make this production system viable.

But, procurement managers have cited strong hogget numbers and difficult conditions in the French market as the main reasons for static spring lamb base quotes.

Spring lamb quotes:
  • Kildare Chilling: 640c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance
  • ICM Camolin: 640c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance
  • ICM Navan: 640c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance

Recent figures from the Department of Agriculture show that spring lamb numbers have remained tight prior to the Easter weekend, with just 4,700 new season lambs slaughtered up to the week ending March 20.

But, hogget throughput has increased in recent weeks, as farmers start to sell the last of the 2015 born lambs.

Figures from the Department show that the week-on-week hogget kill jumped by 13% between the week ending March 13 and March 20. This is an increase of about 5,000 head.

The good weekly supply of hoggets has been cited by many procurement managers as the reason for no movement in the spring lamb or hogget price.

Farmers sending 2015 born lambs for slaughter this week can expect to be quoted a base price of 540-550c/kg, excluding the Quality Assurance Scheme bonus.

Hogget quotes:
  • Kildare Chilling: 540c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance
  • ICM Camolin: 550c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance
  • ICM Navan: 550c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance

However, despite the static lamb and hogget market, ewe price has improved by 10c/kg this week on the back of tightening supplies, most plants are now starting base quotes at 300c/kg, which has improved from 290c/kg last week.

Markets

According to Bord Bia, there has been some strengthening in the trade across the key export markets for Irish sheepmeat on the back of strong seasonal Easter demand.

In Britain, the market has seen some further uplift due to higher demand, as a result of Easter and the SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales made the equivalent of around €6.85/kg last week.

In France, a buoyant trade was reported on the back of some rise in demand.

But, Bord Bia reports that French demand remains best for chilled legs of New Zealand lamb and retail promotions were dominated by such products.

Despite the buoyant trade reported in France, a number of procurement managers said that the French market remains difficult, due to a strong supply of French spring lamb and a high number of UK lambs and hoggets available on the market.

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