Factories moved over the weekend and start of the week to take more control of the trade, with some plants initially pulling quotes by 10c/kg and the majority quoting 20c/kg lower since the start of the week.
As can be seen in the quotes table, Kildare Chilling is leading the price quote with its 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus separating it from Ballon Meats, which is quoting €6.00/kg.
The two ICM plants are quoting €5.80/kg and while Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis continue not to offer an official quote, reports from farmers indicate they are offering a similar base quote.
There is some variability in prices being paid between plants, with some reluctant to offer individual sellers prices much in excess of base quotes.
A high percentage of lambs are securing returns of €5.95/kg to €6.10/kg.
Last week’s sheep kill was recorded at 50,145 head
Farmers trading through producer groups or with greater negotiating power are securing returns of €6.10/kg to €6.20/kg in the main, with some securing 5c/kg to 10c/kg higher via conformation bonuses or the equivalent by means of allowances on transport costs.
Last week’s sheep kill was recorded at 50,145 head, which is a further reduction of 8,052 on the previous week.
This includes ewe and ram throughput of 7,780 head, which has stabilised in the last two weeks.
Ewe quotes are steady and are also variable. Most plants are quoting €3.30/kg, with the exception of Ballon which remains at €3.50/kg.
Sellers with strong negotiating power are securing returns of €3.40/kg to €3.50/kg, with agents and dealers securing higher.
The mart trade remains a good alternative outlet for those struggling to negotiate with factories on price or weight limits for heavier carcase ewes exceeding 40kg carcase weight.
The number of sheep slaughtered last week in NI plants increased by 200 head to 10,831
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland (NI) quotes have reduced by 10p/kg to £4.80/kg or the equivalent of €5.67/kg. Regular sellers and groups are having some success in securing 10p/kg to 15p/kg higher returns.
The number of sheep slaughtered last week in NI plants increased by 200 head to 10,831, while the number of sheep travelling south for direct slaughter fell significantly by 3,154 head to 6,588.
British prices have eased by 30p/kg to 50p/kg to €5/kg (€5.91/kg) in recent weeks and are being cited as reducing the competitiveness of Irish lamb in export markets and putting pressure on price.
Some industry commentators comment that price pressure is normal at present and predict a recovery in two to three weeks.