Quotes rising despite clean sheep saga
THE clean sheep saga continues to rumble on, however it is having no negative effect on prices.
As of yesterday morning prices for hogget were up in the majority of plants by 5-10c/kg, the exception being Moyvalley who remain on a flat €5.00/kg. The effect is that most plants have closed up very sharply on combined base and bonus price of €5.00/kg.
The exception is Dawn Ballyhaunis who at €4.90+5c/ kg bonus are just slightly off the pace. Kepak Athleague are on €4.95+5c/kg bonus while Kildare Chilling and the two ICMs are on €4.90+10c/kg.
There is also some movement on the cull ewe side with Kepak Athleague lifting their base to €2.90, while Kildare Chilling was on €2.80+10c/kg QA. All other plants with an interest in the cull ewe trade are static at €2.80/kg.
Prices for lamb/hogget on the ground are reported as having strengthened from last week’s €5.00-5.10/kg to €5.15/ kg with reports that €5.20/kg was paid where the supplier ticked all the boxes.
And the biggest box to be ticked this week seems to be what constitutes a clean sheep. Department officials seem to have upped the ante yesterday with reports indicating that while a majority of plants were coping with having to clip limited num- bers, one plant was reported as almost being at a standstill as numbers into the hundreds were sent by department officials to be clipped.
The language from factory agent’s yesterday morning was colourful to say the least.
But while factories seem to have no problem siding in private with the farming community on this issue, they are saying little in public.
This clean sheep question has to some degree gotten out of hand in that there is no emphasis on how many sheep are going through the system without difficulties. One factory buyer told me that out of nearly 2,000 sheep due to be presented yesterday up to 1pm, at that point 20 or 1pc had been sent home.
The IFA have been highly critical of the disruption caused by this more rigorous implementation of department regulations.
And John Brooks of the ICSA claimed that “changing the rules midway through the winter period without consultation and without a proper strategy is just reckless.
“We need Teagasc, Bord Bia, the Department of Agriculture along with sheep farmers and meat factories working together to find solutions.
“But this must be done well in advance of the winter finishing period. Simply screwing farmers with deductions is no solution.”