Factory agents have been busy over the weekend and on Monday lining up higher throughput as the week progresses. This week’s demand is being boosted by processing for the Islamic religious festival of Eid al-Adha.

The festival takes place from 16 to 20 June and has underpinned the highest weekly kill in recent years. Last year’s kill figure in the week leading in to the festival was recorded at 70,000 head and reports suggest that if numbers are available this level of throughput could be replicated.

Base quotes are starting the week in a steady manner with challenges remaining regarding the number of plants offering an official quote.

The two Irish Country Meats plants are offering a base quote of €8.80/kg plus its 20c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus while Ballon Meats is on €9.20/kg, all-in.

Opening negotiations

Kildare Chilling are not quoting officially for Tuesday but reports from producers indicate the plant has increased its lamb quote by 10c/kg and is paying in the region of €9.10/kg plus 10c/kg QA.

Other plants absent from the quotes table are reported as opening negotiations for QA lamb at €9/kg.

Producer groups are securing returns averaging in the region of €9.10/kg with top prices including conformation bonuses rising to upwards of €9.20/kg.

The number of hoggets traded by individual sellers handling small numbers is small but hogget throughput is expected to be significantly increased by factory deals with specialist finishers.

While starting prices are in the region of €7.50/kg, there are very few hoggets trading at such opening quotes with the two ICM plants offering an opening price of €8.20/kg for QA hoggets.

Specialist finishers are commanding prices significantly above the going rates for very large consignments.

Ewe trade

The ewe trade is solid with quotes for good-quality ewes starting at €4.10/kg to €4.20/kg and rising to €4.40/kg to €4.50/kg. The mart remains a good outlet for heavy ewes likely to kill overweight, particularly where offered for sale in small numbers from producers with weak negotiating power.