The IFA has “strongly criticised” factories’ “unjustified attempts” to “weaken” lamb prices.
Its sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, has said that market conditions for lamb are “very favourable”.
“Factories are offering €7.30/kg and deals to 23kgs to secure lambs, but are meeting very strong resistance from farmers,” he reported.
“Cull ewes are making €3.10/kg to €3.30/kg in general, with higher prices available,” he added.
Dennehy stated that farmers should only sell lambs as they become fit. He reported that deals to 23kgs are on offer.
Factories lamb prices
“With a very strong mart trade for store and finished lambs, the current attempts to lower prices should be rejected.”
“Prices are rising in the key UK and French markets on the run in to the Christmas trade on the back of tightening supplies.”
“The numbers of suitable lambs that factories need for the Christmas trade are not available. This approach is a crude attempt to panic farmers into selling lambs,” he said.
He pointed out that prices in the UK for finished sheep have been “high and are rising again recently”.
Furthermore, throughput at UK abattoirs is back 11% year on year. “Market reports indicate supplies will remain tight,” he added.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, sheep prices in France have pushed on again.
“Spain is an important supplier to France. We are now past the annual peak for the Spanish trade with France, and so volumes are now at a lower level.”
“Farmgate prices in Spain have risen. This is also strengthening the trade in France, and by extension prices for Irish lamb,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, IFA president, Tim Cullinan, has called on all retailers to ensure they are selling Bord Bia quality-assured Irish pigmeat.
The farm leader said a “substantial” price increase from retailers needs to be passed back through processors to farmers immediately to cover the “massive” increase in feed costs.
“Farmers are concerned about increased costs of production over the past 12 months and the volume of imported pigmeat on shelves across the country.”
“In the lead up to Christmas, it is essential that quality-assured hams are available. Retailers cannot be discounting ham at the time of year when the demand is highest among consumers.”
Read more on this farming news story.