IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey has said lamb supplies remain scarce with factories offering from €5.15 to €5.30/kg to get numbers. He said, in general, lambs are making €5.20/5.25/kg but some deals of €5.30/kg plus are being made to get numbers.
He said supplies for week 12 were at 46,837, which is almost 2,000 less than the same week last year. To date this year the kill is up 45,281 clearly indicating that numbers have been moved on and any overhang is well gone out of the supply chain.
John Lynskey said, with hogget numbers very tight, and no availability of spring lamb, the market should improve over the next number of weeks. He said demand will be strong, driven by Easter and the Ramadan Muslim festival.
Spring lamb supplies have not really commenced, with the Department figures showing only 490 spring lambs killed for week 12. This is in line with the view at farm level that supplies will be very tight for the next few weeks.
John Lynskey said early lamb producers need a price in the order of €7.00/kg in order to cover costs and leave a reasonable margin. He said some factories are quoting €6.00/6.10 and paying €6.20/6.30/kg for the small numbers they have processed. However he said some butchers are making some enquires with some reported deals at up to €6.50/kg to 21/21.5kgs.
The IFA sheep farmer leader said ewes are making €2.80 to €3.20/kg.