Yesterday’s increase in lamb factory prices by 10-15c/kg has finally given some hope that all is not lost for finishers hoping for a happy Christmas.
While Kildare Chilling and the two ICM mills are raising their supply by 10 cents/kg, both adding 10 cents/kg for quality assured lamb, it was Dawn Ballyhaunis to show that bigger increases were possible as they added 15 cents/kg, to keep them at € 6.15 + 10 c/kg quality assurance.
On the culling sheep side, both Dawn and Kildare return to the table at €2.90/kg, with Kildare adding 10 cents/kg for quality assurance. The ICMs continue to state €3.00/kg.
IFA Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey said: “Raising lamb prices has a long way to go to offset production costs on farms…
“Bord Bia needs to do more in the market to reflect costs on farms and fetch a higher price in the French market where prices have remained solid, around €8/kg.
“This time last year our prices were within €1/kg of French prices, with the gap now being almost €2/kg. That is not sustainable.”
The Bord Bia sheep meat price comparison site confirms this. In the week ending 5 November mutton meat in France (excluding VAT) cost an average of €8.04/kg while the Irish figure of €1.91/kg lags behind at €6.13/kg.
The same data also shows that average prices here, in the UK and in Northern Ireland have been falling steadily since mid-June: on 5th November the UK average was €5.85/kg, compared to €5.71/kg in the North.
New Zealand prices averaged €5.82/kg in mid-September, but they too have fallen to €5.12/kg.
In France, the price has remained consistently high, and even worse, it has increased in Spain: from €6.77/kg in mid-August to €7.43/kg now.
The question is why have the prices here not kept up with those in France and Spain?
The latest Kantar data on consumer purchases in the UK shows that in the 12 weeks leading up to October 2, the total quantity of lamb bought in the UK fell by almost 20 per cent to 15,600 tonnes compared to the same period for 2021.
Further research shows that the retail price of lamb in the UK rose by 9.4 per cent to £10.05/kg over the same period.
We may see a rebound as we head towards Christmas, but as we all know, keeping factory prices rising consistently isn’t easy.
On a positive note, yesterday’s reports from Marts indicated that numbers had been reduced and in the case of Kilkenny prices were up €8-12/hd.
A factory worker raised the prospect that Christmas sales for lamb could improve amid expensive turkeys and now an outbreak of bird flu.
“A case where the Lord closes a door and maybe opens a window,” he said.
Around the markets
A big sale where all classes meet a brisk trade. Heavy lambs were sold at €138-144/hour or €84-93/hour over €84-93/hour over €120-138/hour or €76-88/hour by weight.
Among the lambs in the store, those over 40 kg are sold for €106-118/h, with 35-40 kg earning €90-106/h and 30-35 kg earning €60-86/h.
Heavy ewes earned €126-160/hour, with eaters €70-114/hour.
George Candler said yesterday’s selling was dominated by the fact reduced inventories left some tight on inventories.
“Compared to last week, prices were €8-10/hour better, with real quality €12/hour better.”
Butcher-type lambs cost €140-164/h, factory lambs €115-142/h, while lambs from the shop were sold at €70-114/h.
Kill sheep earned €63-151/hd.
Yesterday’s auction had 250 sheep on offer, with heavy butcher types peaking at around €2.80/kg.
Example prices for people over 50kg included 52kg selling for €144-146/hour, with 53kg selling for €151/kg, while 55kg was selling for €152/hour.
The 44-48 kg lambs earned €122-136/h, while in the lighter class ten 41 kg lambs averaged €117/h.
Slaughtered ewes are sold between €50 and €142/hour, rams account for up to €240/hour.
Despite being a bigger sell off than the previous week, prices improved here on Friday amid signs factories were finally starting to get worried about supplies.
A top call of €155.50/h was paid for seven lambs weighing 51.5 kg. Other notable prices among the heavier lambs were three 50kg lambs at €150/hd, with fourteen 51kg lambs averaging €146/hd.
The best of the 46 kg lambs sold for €132.50-134.50/hour, two 45 kg lambs made €130.50/hour.
The best price for shop lambs was thirty-two 43 kg ram lambs at an average of €119/h.
Top call on breeding side was 150€/h. Club sheep also sold well.
Wednesday’s sale had big numbers but if anything prices were slightly higher in places as most of the stock was camp lambs and camp sheep.
Heavy lamb is sold for €133-144/hour or €82-97/hour at €82-97/kg, at factory type €109-135/hour or €67-88/hour at €67-88/hour at € /kg
On the shop side, more front lambs are sold at €102-119/hour, lighter lots €72-111/hour.
Heavier culling sheep fetched €115-161/hour while shop culling sold for €55-129/hour.
Yesterday 583 sheep were offered here, with the trade being sharper for the shop further up the road.
However, prices for factory or butcher types did not change, although better beef lambs were scarce.
Sample prices on the butcher and factory sides included twelve 51.5 kg at €147/hr, ten 49 kg at €143/hr, twelve 46 kg at €138/hr. and thirteen 45.5 kg at €135/hr.
Across stores, twelve 39kg and ten 38.5kg products each fetched an average of €114/hour, while ten 34kg units fetched €95/hour and four 32.5kg units fetched €80/hour brought in.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/sheep/lamb-prices/irish-prices-losing-ground-on-france-and-spain-despite-encouraging-rise-42144086.html Irish prices lose ground versus France and Spain despite encouraging advances