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So, what were they thinking?

07.06.2018, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

Prices at the Dublin sheep market on Tuesday eased $20 a head in general – and a lot more in places.SOMETIMES it feels really good to be absolutely correct about things, unfortunately when I appealed to lamb producers not to rush in and flood the market this week on the strength of the boom prices last week, it happened anyway.
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I get no joy from being right about the yo-yoing nature of our markets. The faces of vendors who had high expectations for a yarding of lambs on Tuesday that featured some wonderful heavyweight crossbreds that had been fed to an inch of their lives reflected the disappointment in a sale that eased $20 a head in general, and a lot more in places.

I was speaking to one agent at the Dublin sale and he told me that he concurred with my remarks of last week and had advised his clients to hang off for another week before selling their lambs. He was a bit dismayed that a few had insisted on selling and sadly, they suffered from the buyer’s natural reaction to last week’s extremes that dragged prices back.

I am not for a moment suggesting that lamb prices were bad – quality lambs were returning prices in the $5 a kilogram to $5.50/kg carcaseweight range – however I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want an extra $20 in their pockets. There are enough costs involved in feeding lambs so poor marketing decisions can greatly affect margins.

The scenario for the next few weeks in markets are a bit unclear. My gut instinct is that there will be some fluctuations of pretty heavy proportions until all of the contracted lambs are slaughtered. After this there should be a fairly strong progression upwards for prices as supply tightens.

Of course this is only a theory and my speculative prowess has been found wanting on more than one occasion. Nobody really knows how many lambs are yet to appear in markets or on-hooks.

There could be enough to fulfil the needs of processors until the new season’s lambs begin, or there may be a dire shortage.

The general consensus amongst agents and producers is that the latter case of shortages will prevail, and those who have lambs available for sale will profit handsomely.

The buyers, as usual, are confident of a ready supply and are predicting only modest price rises as autumn and winter progress.

The cattle market and the future of prices is a lot more transparent. It’s a joy going to report a sale where a high percentage of prices recorded cross the $2/kg mark. One vendor at Monday’s Dublin sale told me that he was happy to get $1100 for a cow-and-calf unit a couple of years ago but is now overjoyed to get the same money for some second-hand cows well past their use-by date.

One local feeder was bemused by the fact that he paid money for store cattle – that he would have been happy to receive for his finished stock just a few months ago.

How all of this translates for stud breeders will be very interesting. The SA Beef Field Days will give some solid clues. There seems little doubt that escalating prices will open some purse strings, however the diminished cow herd across the nation could slow demand.

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