Sheep trade: Base prices on the rise again, as supplies continue to tighten

Base quotes continue to increase this week, with meat processing plants offering farmers up to 490c/kg including quality assurance bonuses.

This is welcome news for farmers, especially for those who are tight for grass and are looking to spare it for their breeding ewes.

Currently, farmers are securing prices of between 480c/kg and 490c/kg including quality assurance (QA) bonuses.

However, some farmers say, those who are involved in producer groups are starting to secure prices as high as 500c/kg. 

Quotes

This week, Kildare Chilling (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA – up 10c/kg on last week (payable up to a carcass of 22kg).

Irish Country Meats (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 470c/kg + 10c/kg – up 10c/kg on last week (payable up to a carcass of 22kg).

And, finally, Kepak Athleague (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 475c/kg + 15c/kg – up 15c/kg on last week (payable up to a carcass of 22kg).

Overall, when the QA is factored in, this leaves quotes at 480-490c/kg.

In addition, cast ewes are making 250-260c/kg in sheep processing plants (payable up to a carcass of 40kg).

Spring lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 475c/kg + 15c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 470c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Atleague: 260c/kg;
  • Kildare Chilling: 250c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 250c/kg.

Throughput

During the week ending Sunday, November 17, the number of spring lambs processed decreased by 4,454 head and amounted to 48,099.

Hogget supplies at Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 57 – an increase of four head – for the week ending November 17.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending November 17):

  • Hoggets: 57 head (+4 or +7.5%);
  • Spring lambs: 48,099 head (-4,454 or -8.4%);
  • Ewes and rams: 8,962 head (-372 or -3.9%);
  • Total: 57,118 head (-4,822 or -7.7%).

In addition, cast (ewe and ram) slaughtering decreased by 372 and amounted to 8,962.

Furthermore, overall supplies decreased by 4,882 head during the week ending November 17.

Cumulative figures for the year-to-date have reached 2,430,108 – down over 219,000 head on the corresponding 2018 figure of 2,649,570.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes:

  • Hoggets: 738,676 head (-90,799 or -11%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,329,871 head (-39,775 or -3%);
  • Ewes and rams: 360,990 head (-89,288 or -20%);
  • Total: 2,430,108 head (-219,462 or -8%).

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