Sheep Reports

Sheep Council Report December 2020

Sheep in Wicklow

Market Report

  • Lamb Price: Prices strengthen a further 5 to 10c/kg this week. QA lambs €5.60/kg with deals for larger lots and groups to €5.70/kg. Weights 22.5 to 23kgs. Ewes €2.80 to €3.00/kg.
  • Supplies: 55,353 sheep were processed at Sheep export premises Week commencing 9/11/2020 compared to 57,118 in the same week 2019. Numbers of sheep processed for 2020 are 4% up on 2019 at 2,535,794 head. Supplies of lambs are tight based on higher throughput earlier in the year. 
  • Live Exports: Total live exports stood at 24,807 head to the 01 October 2020.
  • GB Lamb Prices as reported by AHDB: Lamb price for last week was £4.63/kg, which is equivalent to €5.48kg incl. vat. 
  • Market Conditions; Lamb have performed very well in the supermarket trade throughout the year. Lower NZ imports and lower dependence on the food service sector during Covid-19 restrictions all contributed. The demand for lamb for the Christmas trade is strong and when combined with the tight supplies should contribute to favourable marketing conditions. The mart trade has provided a real alternative to the factory for sellers unable to secure the higher factory prices. Strong competition between factory agents, butchers and wholesalers is driving the trade. 
  • Farmers should continue to move lambs as they become fit to maximise returns.
  • IFA publish lamb price updates twice weekly and all of the latest data is available at

Weekly kill data:

Sheep Welfare Scheme 

  • The rollover of the sheep welfare scheme will facilitate new entrants for 2021
  • IFA are seeking a review of the reference period for farmers in the scheme who have increased flock sizes since joining. 
  • IFA will be meeting DAFM again on this issue
  • IFA continue to pursue €30/ewe payment

Dog Control

  • IFA met Minister Malcolm Noonan to advance the issue of dog control
  • Issues raised included;
    • Need for improved measures to control dogs
    • More stringent fines for dog attacks
    • Increased funding for dog warden service 
    • Single data base for microchipped dogs
    • Improved enforcement of dog licensing laws
    • All farm animals are fully traceable and so should dogs 

Upcoming issues

  • Meeting DAFM on 
    • SWS rollover
    • €30/ewe payment
    • utilisation of €100,000 fund to investigate outlets for wool
    • develop Sheep Industry Working Group.
    • CAP transitional period
    • National strategic plans 
  • Ongoing discussion with relevant agencies on dog control. 
  • Ongoing contact with Bord Bia, lamb factories and MII to progress IFA’s calls to advance Quality Assurance on the sheep meat side. IFA has consistently called on factories to increase the QA bonus to 30c/kg in order to increase the number of sheep farmers in the Quality assurance scheme from 12,000 and fairly reward those in the scheme
  • Ongoing contact with Sheep Ireland 

Sean Dennehy – Chair

Anna Daly – Policy Executive

Tomas Bourke – Senior Policy Executive

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