Factories are paying €5.40 to €5.50/kg for quality lambs, while feeders are holding out for €5.60/kg and ewes are making from €2.85/kg to €3.00/kg, according to Sean Dennehy – IFA National Sheep Chairman.
He said the lamb trade remains solid with prices expected to increase over the coming weeks as we enter a period with additional demand for Easter and Ramadan and tighter supplies.
The IFA Sheep Chairman said factories were anxious to source lambs and are finding it difficult to secure adequate numbers. Good butcher lambs are also scarce and buyers are prepared to pay more to get the right article, he said.
Supplies have already tightened
Sean Dennehy said supplies have already tightened considerably with the weekly kill for the week ending March 10th back 20% on last year’s figures and down to 37,626 head from 45,132 for the same week last year.
He said this has left supplies tight at the factories with agents and procurement managers having to pay significantly over the quoted price to get stock.
The IFA official said increased demand and buying for Easter on April 20th and Ramadan on May 5th is expected to kick in soon and this should boost the trade over the coming weeks and months ahead.
He said that lamb prices were also rising in the UK with the deadweight price at £4.19/kg, which is equivalent to €5.14/kg incl. vat.