IFA Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said the return to normal opening hours for the food service sector will drive domestic demand for lamb and sheep meat over the coming weeks.
Sean Dennehy said the domestic food service sector is a key outlet for lamb. As society returns to more normal social engagements, demand for lamb will increase.
He said the reduction in COVID-19 cases and the changes to the public health guidelines have eased the staffing issues at processing level.
“Lamb numbers are extremely tight. With good weather, farmers are under no pressure to sell and factories are struggling to get supplies to meet the market demand,” he said.
He said the numbers of lambs in factories today is low. €6.90/kg is freely available. Some deals of €7.00/kg, and over, are reported as factories struggle to fill orders.
Sean Dennehy said the cuts applied for overweight lambs by factories are not necessary and should stop as processing capacity and domestic demand improves.
“The mart trade for these lambs is much better than what factories are offering and farmers should consider the most appropriate outlet for the lambs they have,” he said.
The IFA Sheep Chairman said lamb numbers are tight, market demand is strong and improving and farmers should only sell lambs as they become fit in a rising market.
Cull ewes are making €3.20 to €3.50/kg in general with some prices exceeding this range.