Sheep trade: Kill drops slightly as base quotes remain the same as last week

During the week ending Sunday, October 20, the number of spring lambs processed decreased by 255 head and amounted to 53,979 head.

This week, Kildare Chilling (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 445c/kg +10c/kg QA (payable up to a carcass of 21.5kg).

Irish Country Meats (Tuesday quote) is offering a base price of 435c/kg + 10c/kg (payable up to a carcass of 21.5kg).

And, finally, Kepak Athleague (Tuesday quote) is offering a base price of 430c/kg + 15c/kg (payable up to a carcass of 21kg).

Overall, when the QA is factored in, this leaves quotes at 445-455c/kg.

In addition, cast ewes are making 230-250c/kg in sheep processing plants (payable up to a carcass of 40kg).

Spring lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 430c/kg + 15c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 445c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 435c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe quotes: 

  • Kepak Athleague: 230c/kg;
  • Kildare Chilling: 240c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 235c/kg.

Throughput

As referenced above the number of spring lambs processed was 53,979 – a decrease of 255 on the previous week.

Hogget supplies at Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 105 head – a decrease of 56 head – for the week ending October 20.

In addition, cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings increased by 1,305 and amounted to 11,387.

Furthermore, overall supplies decreased by 1,077 head during the week ending October 20.

Cumulative figures for the year-to-date have reached 2,194,652 head – down over 200,000 head on the 2018 figure of 2,396,629.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending October 20):

  • Hoggets: 105 head (-56 or -34%);
  • Spring lambs: 53,979 head (-255 or -0.4%);
  • Ewes and rams: 11,071 head (-589 or -5%);
  • Total: 65,156 head (-1,077 or -1.62%).

Base price

Factories are again quoting a base price as low as 430c/kg this week. In some cases, lambs that are overweight are making 380c/kg.

“At the moment, prices are stagnant and farmers are down €20/head compared to this time last year,” according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s (ICSA’s) Sean McNamara.

The factories are full of sheep from Northern Ireland and this is having a huge effect on the price farmers are getting for their animals.

“A scheme needs to be introduced for farmers to compensate them for the losses they have incurred for their sheep this year.

“Many farmers are cutting back on the number of ewes they plan to lamb next spring because there is not enough money to be made from it to justify lambing down large numbers,” Sean concluded.

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