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HomeFarming NewsChange to sheep export rule to add ‘vital’ trade competition
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Change to sheep export rule to add ‘vital’ trade competition

IFA sheep chairman, Kevin Comiskey, has welcomed the removal of the residency period from the export criteria for sheep for direct slaughter within the EU.

According to Comiskey, this means exporters can now compete for finished lambs in mart sales, which will add “vital” competition to the trade.

He reported that this comes at a time when live export demand for sheep is increasing in line with previous years.

Of the almost 13,000 sheep exported last year, approximately 8,000 were exported between June and August, coinciding with our peak supplies.

He commented: “The changes make live exports to continental Europe easier for live exporters and should increase numbers that will move, creating a positive impact on the trade.”

“The countries looking to Ireland for live exports of finished lamb include France and Spain.  “

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“Reduced breeding flocks in both countries last year has increased demand for sheep meat, and Ireland is ideally placed to supply them.”

“There have also been enquiries for lamb from several other countries to fill the surge in demand for the upcoming Muslim festival,” he said.

Eid al-Adha festival

Eid al-Adha festival, which runs from June 28th until July 2nd, is a “key”  driver of demand for sheep meat in our key export markets.

As supplies remain tight, factories must push prices on to get lambs to fill orders, he added.

The IFA chairman said these developments mean factories “no longer have it all their own way for finished lambs in mart sales”.

“Farmers now have an extra and viable competitive outlet for their lambs.”

“Demand for lamb is increasing.  Numbers are extremely tight, and there is additional competition for factories, which must translate into higher prices,” he concluded.

Sheep prices in livestock marts

In this news article, That’s Farming gets the low-down on sheep prices in Aurivo Ballinrobe Mart and Carnew Mart.

According to Aurivo Ballinrobe Mart’s assistant manager, Teresa Gibsey, prices for ewes with lambs at foot ranged from €110 to €220, on Thursday, June 8th, 2023.

Spring lambs changed hands from €2.55 to €3.45/kg or €74 to €170, while lambs and hoggets went under the hammer from €2.27/kg to €2.88/kg.

Carnew Mart

Meanwhile, trade was “on fire” in Carnew Mart on Thursday, June 8th, 2023, according to its manager, David Quinn.

Thursday saw a large entry of sheep for “the time of year”, with 1700 head on offer.

He commented that “fat lambs and ewes were eagerly sought-after by factory agents, butchers, and northern buyers alike“.

Spring lambs reached a top price of €197, while heavy ewes sold to a top call of €247.

Store ewes made from €110 to €130 for feeder types and prices varied from €150 to €180 for fleshy ewes.

Read more on this news article.

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