Sheep trade: Base quotes increase, as sheep kill falls by over 11,500 head

This week has seen an increase in base quotes of up to 15c/kg for spring lambs, as supplies begin to tighten.

During the week ending Sunday, November 3, the number of spring lambs processed decreased by 8,717 head and amounted to 45,262 head.

This week, Kildare Chilling (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 460c/kg +10c/kg QA (payable up to a carcass of 22kg).

Irish Country Meats (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 440c/kg + 10c/kg (payable up to a carcass of 22kg).

And, finally, Kepak Athleague (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 440c/kg + 15c/kg (payable up to a carcass of 22kg).

Overall, when the QA is factored in, this leaves quotes at 450-470c/kg.

In addition, cast ewes are making 235-260c/kg in sheep processing plants (payable up to a carcass of 40kg).

Spring lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 440c/kg + 15c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 460c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 440c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 240c/kg;
  • Kildare Chilling: 250c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 235c/kg.

Throughput

As referenced above the number of spring lambs processed was 45,262 – a decrease of 8,075 on the previous week.

Hogget supplies at Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 59 – a decrease of 46 head – for the week ending November 3.

Data source: Department of Agriculture

In addition, cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings decreased by 2,778 and amounted to 8,293.

Furthermore, overall supplies decreased by 9,170 head during the week ending November 3.

Cumulative figures for the year-to-date have reached 2,311,050 – down over 200,000 head on the 2018 figure of 2,516,409.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending November 3):

  • Hoggets: 59 head (-46 or – 43.8%);
  • Spring lambs: 45,262 (-8,717 or -16%);
  • Ewes and rams: 8,293 (-2,778 or -25%);
  • Total: 53,614 (-11,542 or -17.7%).

Base price

Some good news for sheep farmers this week, as tighter sheep supplies have resulted in an increase in the base price of up to 15c/kg.

For the majority of sheep export plants, base quotes have increased between 5c/kg up to 10c/kg. However, Kildare Chilling increased its base price by 15c/kg.

In recent weeks, the majority of factories have increased their carcass weight limit to 22kg, which is another positive for farmers looking to slaughter their lambs.

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