IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said demand for lamb in the run up to Easter was strong with factories anxious for stock.
He said factories were paying €5.30 to €5.50/kg up to 23kgs carcase weight, with up to €5.60/kg paid. Some live buying at €70 over the weight was also taking place.
“Factories are eager for suitable stock and some feeders and producer groups are doing better deals.” Although there are only very small numbers of new season lamb moving, prices were in the region of €6.20/6.40/kg.
Sean Dennehy said retail demand should be strong over the next two weeks in the run into Easter Sunday on April 12th. Ramadan starts on April 23rd.
He said ewes were making €2.60/2.80/kg. On numbers, Sean Dennehy said last week’s kill was well back at 45,666, of which 41,089 were lambs.
Sean Dennehy said the COVID-19 crisis is having a very severe impact on the sheep sector with the loss of major market segments and price down as much as €1/kg. He said this is a devastating blow for sheep farmers with stock for sale, who are facing a price drop of over €20 per lamb.
IFA has made a detailed submission to Minister Creed and the EU Commission seeking EU action in the form of direct payment aid, APS market supports, suspension of non-EU imports and promotions.