June Sheep Prices
“Lamb prices are still over €1/kg ahead of this time last year. However, 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.”
Those are the words of IFA sheep chairman, Kevin Comiskey, who is of the view that factories must do more to support sheep farmers at this time.
They must ensure that prices reflect increased production costs on sheep farms.
June Sheep Prices
Furthermore, he said that plants are “reluctant” to pass €7.90/kg for lambs for next week. He reported that generally, factories are currently paying between €7.70/kg to €7.90/kg.
Besides, he said cull ewe prices are “holding firm,” with prices ranging from €4.00 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 July 9th, 2022,” he said.
Furthermore, he said lamb prices have come under pressure in the UK and to a lesser extent in France in recent days.
He believes markets “should improve” with the increased demand for sheepmeat for the upcoming festival.
Comiskey said factories must stand firm in the marketplace to maximise returns to sheep farmers through higher lamb prices to offset these costs.
According to DAFM data, the total kill for the year-to-date (excluding this week) stands at 1,248,644 head compared to 1,103,689 last year.
This year’s kill:
- Lambs/hoggets: 885,785;
- Spring lambs: 233,676;
- Ewes and rams: 129,003;
- Light lambs: 89.
The IFA sheep chairman has also questioned the ongoing practice by sheep factories of importing lambs from Northern Ireland when prices are under pressure here, while also pointing out the risks given recent FMD concerns in the UK.
Farm Assist Changes
In other news, the Department of Social Protection has introduced what Minister Heather Humphreys has described as “major” changes to the Farm Assist Means Test.
She has signed regulations, relating to the means-tested payment for low-income farmers, which she believes, will benefit thousands.
Read more on this.