IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman James Murphy said the severe lamb price cuts were undermining the market and eroding confidence in the sheep sector. He called on the factories to immediately stabilise prices and steady the market.
James Murphy said with little or no increase in production forecast for 2012 and very strong offal and skin prices, lamb prices must be maintained at last year’s levels. He said this is essential to the recovery of the sheep sector and its ability to regrow.
James Murphy said early lamb producers are disheartened and angry with the factories over the excessive price cuts on spring lamb. He said they are particularly angry when they see the factories lorrying in thousands of imports and at the same time sending out the message to local farmers that they don’t want lambs. These producers have worked hard all spring and witnessed their top quality lambs being cut by €10 per head in a week.
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said the severe lamb price cuts and contradictory market signals from the factories this week highlights the real need for a much clearer roadmap and strategy for the sheep sector going forward. “Sheep farmers and especially early lamb producers cannot work in a market which inflicts price cuts of up to 10% in a week. “