Sheep trade: Prices moving in the wrong direction

During the week ending August 11, the number of hoggets slaughtered at the Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 147 – an increase of five head on the previous week.

In addition, the number of spring lambs also increased by 2,687 head and amounted to 45,593 head.

Looking at prices available at the factory gate, many procurement managers are starting negotiations – for spring lambs – with farmers at 460c/kg (excluding quality assurance (QA) and producer group bonuses).

When QA is factored into the quotation, this leaves quotes at 460-470c/kg.

Spring lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: No quote (Monday);
  • Kildare Chilling: 460c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 450c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: No quote (Monday);
  • Kildare Chilling: 270c/kg + 10 QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 260c/kg.

Throughput

As mentioned above, hogget throughput at the Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 147 head for the week ending August 11, and the number of spring lambs processed was 45,593 – an increase of 2,687 head on the previous week.

Source: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

In addition, cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings decreased by 4,906 head down to 4,803 head.

Moreover, overall supplies decreased by 2,747 head. Cumulative figures for the year-to-date have reached 1,594,978 head; this is a decrease of 110,180 head compared to the same period in 2018.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending August 11):

  • Hoggets: 147 head (+5 head or +3.5%);
  • Spring lambs: 45,593 head (+2,687 head or +6.3%);
  • Ewes and rams: 4,803 head (-4,906 head or -50.5%);
  • Total: 50,555 head (-2,247 head or -4.2%).

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