IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman James Murphy said lamb prices have stabilised and rebounded with an increase in the French market of 20c/kg this week and factories paying €5.80/kg for spring lamb. He said the UK market is also up this week.
James Murphy said IFA is holding a round of meetings with the factories and has already met with a number of the key players. He said the overall view is that lamb prices can be maintained at last years’ levels and there will be no significant increase in production this year.
The sheep farmers’ leader said IFA has made it clear to the factories that the severe price cuts over the last 2 weeks undermined the market, damaged farm incomes and eroded confidence in the sheep sector.
James Murphy said we cannot allow the problem from heavy hoggets undermine the price each year during the critical changeover period from hoggets to spring lambs. He said there is a responsibility on all of the stakeholders to address this issue and send the correct market signals.
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said this week’s market report from France is positive with spring lamb prices up 20c/kg to €5.90/kg and hoggets also up 20c/kg to €5.36/kg. He said prices have also recovered in the UK with spring lambs and hoggets up 10p to 15p/kg lw at the marts.
James Murphy said stability in lamb prices at last years’ levels is essential for the sheep sector going forward. He said with no significant increase in production forecast for 2012 and a very strong lamb skin and offal price, lamb prices can be maintained.