Lamb price not reflecting increased production costs – IFA Sheep Chair

IFA Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey has said factories are reluctant to pass €7.90/kg for lambs for next week, with prices from €7.70/kg to €7.90/kg the general run.

He said cull ewe prices are holding firm, with prices ranging from €4 to €4.30/kg.

“Spring lamb numbers remain low on the ground and demand for sheep meat will increase as the Eid al Adha festival approaches on 9th July,” he said.

The Sheep Chairman said lamb prices have come under pressure in the UK and to a lesser extent in France in recent days. These markets should improve with the increased demand for sheepmeat for the upcoming festival.

He said while lamb prices are still over €1/kg ahead of this time last year, in reality input costs have eroded all of this gain and low-income sheep farms do not have the capacity to absorb this level of cost increase.

“Factories must stand firm in the market place to maximise returns to sheep farmers through higher lamb prices to offset these costs,” he said.

The IFA Sheep Chairman has also questioned the on-going practice by sheep factories of importing lambs from Northern Ireland when prices are under pressure here while also pointing out the risks given the recent FMD concerns in the UK.

“Factories must do more to support sheep farmers at this time and ensure increased production costs on sheep farms are reflected in prices,” Mr. Comiskey concluded.