Lamb prices lower than in ’89

‘Lamb prices are lower now than they were 19 years ago,’ ICSA sheep chairman Mervyn Sunderland highlighted this week. ‘I can remember getting the equivalent of €4.05 per kg in March of 1989, and it was a decent price. But today, sheep farmers will be lucky to get €4 per kg. There is no opportunity for profit in sheep at the moment, and there won’t be until prices start to exceed €4.50 per kg.’ ‘When you think of how much feed has gone up in the last 20 years, as well as all other aspects of the cost of living, it’s unfathomable to imagine how sheep farmers manage to keep going.’ ‘This week, the prices are between €4 and €4.04, a little up on last week as the market experiences a slight tightening of supplies. Farmers have held back their lambs, preferring to incur the cost of feeding them rather than sell them off too cheap, but prices may well start to plateau as these lambs reach the factory gates.’