IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said the lamb trade has improved slightly this week with farmers getting €5.50/kg and top prices of €5.60/kg paid. He said lambs remain very scarce and farmers should negotiate hard on both price and weights.
He said with Easter approaching on April 21st, and Ramadan on May 5th, there is more in the price. Ewes are making €2.85/€3.00/kg.
Sean Dennehy pointed out that hoggets were making €6.10/6.20/kg this time last year.
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said farmers with heavier lambs should look at the options in the marts as the butcher and wholesale trade is very strong.
On numbers, Sean Dennehy said the weekly kill remains very tight with only a total of 38,098 for the week ending March 24th. This is down 31% or 16,724 on the same week last year. He said the kill figures also show that there has been no processing of spring lambs to-date.
On new season Spring lamb prices, Sean Dennehy said some factories have been quoting low prices to try and keep a lid on the opening prices. He said farmers need at least the same price as last year.
He said with the higher costs of meal this year, lambs would need to be coming into €140 to €150 per head.