IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman James Murphy said the lamb trade has rebounded firmly this week against factory attempts to pull prices. He said mart prices have remained very strong, the French price has risen 20c/kg and factories were unable to get adequate numbers at the lower quoted prices.
James Murphy said sheep farmers were holding out strongly and refusing to sell lambs at the lower quoted prices. Factory lairages were less than half full earlier in the week. Procurement managers and agents had to increase prices back up towards €4.80/kg to get adequate numbers.
In the marts James Murphy said the trade for both finished lambs and store lambs remained very buoyant.
Reports from France had prices rising by 20c/kg mid-week and a noticeable decrease in volumes from the UK and Ireland. UK mart prices are up 6 – 8p/kg or £3 – £4 per head mid-week. UK factory prices are equivalent to €4.90/kg.
James Murphy said farmers are just not willing to sell lambs at the lower factory quoted prices. “Farmers are not willing to part with lambs at less than €100 per head.
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said with the strong grass growth and better thrive this year, an extra 60,000 lambs have been sold to date. This means supplies will be tighter in the weeks and months ahead. He said last week’s kill was under 48,000 head down from 50 – 55,000 head in previous weeks.