Sheep quotes have started to tumble, with between 20-30c/kg being wiped off prices in recent days.
Between €5.20-€5.30/kg (excluding bonuses) is being quoted by a number of plants, however, the IFA has said, factories are “quoting lower, but paying more”.
IFA national sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, said that with the commencement of the Muslim Eid festival this weekend, factories need to “act responsibly on price and not undermine the market in any way”.
“Some plants, which are chalking down their quotes, are undermining the trade.”
Dennehy said a lot of lambs were sold over the last few weeks, with 74,535 sold in the past week alone.
With the lamb kill running 14% ahead of last year or up 75,000 head, he said this should mean supplies will be tighter in the coming weeks, and, in turn, should “help steady the trade”.
Select lambs as they become fit
The IFA sheep chairman said farmers should continue to select lambs as they become fit, keep moving and bargain hard on price and weight.
He outlined that factories were paying up to 21.5kgs with some deals to 22kgs in places.
“Positive price returns will help farmers to continue to move lambs as they become fit.”
“I think farmers that have gone through their lambs and taken two or three pulls already, have large numbers moved, and they will want to see the trade settle before they move again.”
He said the mart trade has been solid with a “buoyant” business for store lambs and the positive opening of the breeding sales.