IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy says the outlook for lamb prices is positive.
He said significant numbers of lambs were moved in the past few weeks to meet the demand for the Eid festival.
He said, “Farmers have moved lambs at lighter weights this year with average carcase weights back .5kg for the year. This has reduced the volume of sheep meat in the marketplace, a situation replicated in the UK and ensures there won’t be a glut of lambs to come out”.
Breeding sales will be starting, and combined with the strong store trade, will provide competition to factories for lambs.
“Lamb prices are high in the UK and France ensuring Irish lamb remains very competitive in the marketplace. The reduced volumes of lamb imported from New Zealand to the EU market, a feature of the past year, will continue as New Zealand exports are directed to the Chinese market. The absence of these imports creates a strong market opportunity for Irish lamb over the coming months.”
In the UK, sheep meat production is expected to drop 7% from the previous year. The reopening of the foodservice sector will help strong domestic consumption.
Sean Dennehy said, “Lamb prices have performed well this year, but in reality, it is badly needed to offset the cost of production and the increase in input costs that occurred on farms over the past year”.
He said farmers should sell hard throughout the remainder of the year in a favourable market environment while moving lambs as they become fit to maximise returns.