Sheep trade: Farmers finally able to kill factory-fit lambs as beef protests come to a halt

During the week ending Sunday, September 15, the number of hoggets slaughtered at Department of Agriculture approved export plants was 94 – a decrease of seven head on the previous week.

In addition, the number of spring lambs processed decreased by 38 and amounted to 39,833.

This week, Kildare Chilling (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 455c/kg +10c/kg QA (payable up to a carcass of 21kg).

Irish Country Meats (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 450c/kg + 10c/kg (payable up to a carcass of 21.5kg).

Furthermore, Kepak Athleague (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 440c/kg + 15c/kg (payable up to a carcass of 21kg)

Overall, when the QA is factored in, this leaves quotes at 455-465c/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 – 440c/kg + 15c/kg QA:
  • Kildare Chilling – 455c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats – 450c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe quotes:

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

Throughput

As referenced above, hogget throughput at Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 94 head for the week ending September 15. The number of spring lambs processed was 39,795 – a decrease of 38 head on the previous week.

Data source: Department of Agriculture

In addition, cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings decreased by 1,150 head.

Furthermore, overall supplies decreased by 24,519 head. Cumulative figures for the year-to-date have reached 1,880,382 head.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending September 15):

  • Hoggets: 94 head (-7 or -6.93%);
  • Spring lambs: 39,795 head (-38 or -0.09%);
  • Ewes and rams: 5,811 head (-1,150 or -16.5%);
  • Total: 45,700 head (-24,519 head or -34.9%).

Protests

Meanwhile, sheep farmers across the country will greet the news that protests outside processing facilities have come to a halt.

On Sunday, September 22, remaining (beef) protests stood down, enabling factories to return to normality.

This news will come as a relief to many farmers, as they have been unable to kill their lambs – with many now overweight and over the 21kg-carcass limit.

However, with the breeding season kicking off farmers will be glad to offload these lambs and free up grass for their breeding ewes and lighter store lambs.

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