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IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said there is a major positive shift in the lamb trade this week with numbers tightening and prices rising. He said some factories are paying €5.15/kg to get lambs this week and some finishers are holding out for €5.20kg. In addition, he said weights were moving up to 23kgs in some deals.

Sean Dennehy said in order to meet demand and get lambs in recent days, some wholesalers had paid up to €113 per head for 46kgs lambs, which is the equivalent of up to €5.30/kg. He said farmers selling need to dig in and demand prices well above the lower quoted factory prices. In addition, he said the ewe trade had also moved on with top prices of €2.80/kg paid.

Speaking at a meeting of the IFA National Sheep Committee meeting in Dublin last week Sean Dennehy said the overall lamb kill is up 69,745 head to November 25th this year. The major increase is in the ewe kill which is up 57,834 head, while the mid-season lamb kill is down 9,199. Sean Dennehy said with the losses at lambing and weather-related difficulties in the snow last spring, supplies for the remainder of the year should be tighter.

Sean Dennehy said a unique feature developing in the lamb market in the next number of years is the convergence of the main Christian festival of Easter and the main Muslin festival of Ramadan. He said for 2019, Easter will fall on April 21st and Ramadan will commence 14 days later on May 5th. He said this should drive very strong demand into April and May. He pointed out that the second major Muslin festival if Eid takes place on August 10th in 2019.

The IFA Sheep Chairman also pointed out for the next five years from 2019 right through to 2024, there will only be a one to two-week space between Easter and Ramadan. He said this should have significant implications for market for both early lamb producers and hogget finishers for the next five years.


IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy and sheep farmers from the Dublin area met recently with Coillte on the control of dogs in the forestry area of the Dublin mountains.  He said “IFA and Coillte have agreed to work together to encourage responsible dog ownership and reduce the attacks on sheep flocks in the Dublin Mountain area”.

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Sheep Factory Quotes c/kg including VAT
Factory October 30th Ewes Spring Lamb
Dawn Ballyhaunis Tuesday 235 450+10QA
ICM Camolin Tuesday 240 450+10QA
ICM Navan Tuesday 240 450+10QA
Kepak Athleague Tuesday 240 465+5QA
Kildare Chilling Tuesday 240+10QA 460+10QA
Moyvalley Meats Tuesday NQ

IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said the lamb trade remains solid with factories paying from €4.75 to €4.80/kg with top prices of €4.85/4.88 paid in recent days.  He said demand remains strong and numbers are expected to tighten as this week progresses.

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IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said lamb supplies have tightened in recent days with factories struggling to get adequate numbers. He said prices are strengthening with reports of €4.80/kg paid. He said more farmers are getting €4.75/kg.

Sean Dennehy said supplies normally tighten at this time of year and farmers need to negotiate hard in order to maximise returns.

“IFA is meeting the lamb factories this week and will be pushing hard for price increases to reflect market returns and will also be pushing to get carcass weights up to 22.5kgs,” he said.

To date this year, new season lambs are back 19,000 head on last year, while the cull ewe kill is up 55,000 and the hogget kill was up 22,000, leaving the overall kill up 57,000.

Sean Dennehy said IFA will be raising the serious concern over the large cull ewe kill and the poor replacement ewe lamb and ewe hogget trade this year. He said IFA will make it clear to the factories low incomes and poor prices are the root cause of reducing ewe numbers.

He said as well as incomes and prices, EID, Clean Sheep Policy, factory charges and other sheep policy issues will be on the agenda.

IFA provide twice weekly price updates on text, and twitter.

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