According to IFA national sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, the outlook for lamb prices for the remainder of 2021 is “positive”.
He said farmers moved “significant” numbers of lambs in the past few weeks to meet the demand for the Eid festival.
“Farmers have moved lambs at lighter weights this year with average carcase weights back 0.5kg for the year.”
“This has reduced the volume of sheep meat in the marketplace, a situation replicated in the UK and ensures there won’t be a glut of lambs to come out.”
Lamb prices 2021
He pointed out that breeding sales will be starting, and combined with the strong store trade, will provide competition to factories for lambs.
“Lamb prices are high in the UK and France ensuring Irish lamb remains very competitive in the marketplace.”
“The reduced volumes of lamb imported from New Zealand to the EU market, a feature of the past year, will continue as New Zealand exports are directed to the Chinese market. “
“The absence of these imports creates a strong market opportunity for Irish lamb over the coming months.”
UK sheep meat production
Furthermore, in the UK, sheep meat production is expected to drop 7% from the previous year. The reopening of the foodservice sector will help strong domestic consumption.
“Lamb prices have performed well this year. In reality, it is badly needed to offset the cost of production and the increase in input costs that occurred on farms over the past year.”
He advises farmers to “sell hard” throughout the remainder of the year in a “favourable” market environment while moving lambs as they become fit to maximise returns.
Meanwhile, the farm group has shared its outlook for the Irish beef sector for the remainder of 2021.
“Market conditions are favourable, supplies are tight, and farmers should continue to bargain hard.”
That is according to IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, who said market conditions for beef should be “favourable” for the rest of 2021.
Golden outlined that supplies of finished cattle will be tight for the rest of the year. He highlighted that numbers are back to date by more than 67,000 head.
The annual kill is predicted to be back a further 50,000 head by year-end. He said there will be 110,000-120,000 fewer slaughter cattle available than in 2020.
In the UK market, production is predicted to be back at least 4% for the year by combining reduced numbers and lighter carcase weights at slaughter.