Update on sheep prices June 2021:
Factories are “freely offering” €7.60/kg and deals on transport to secure lambs.
That is according to Sean Dennehy, IFA sheep chairman, who said that there are higher deals available for larger numbers. He outlined that cull ewes are making €3.20-€3.50/kg.
Sheep prices June 2021
“Supplies of suitable finished lambs are tight, and market conditions are strong,” he commented.
“Hogget supplies have significantly decreased in recent weeks, reducing the number of sheep available for slaughter.”
He pointed out that the kill to date is running 8% behind last year, and with the cold weather slowing lamb finish, the number of suitable lambs available remains low.
Kill throughput and imports
Factories processed a total of 1,001,500 sheep in the first 22 weeks of 2021, which is running 78,855 behind the same period in 2020.
Imports from NI for direct slaughter have totalled 91,314, which is back by almost 30,000 on last year.
What is driving demand?
The IFA sheep chairman said a combination of flock building in New Zealand and Australia and strong import demand from China contribute to a global shortage of sheep meat.
“The foodservice sector demand will continue to grow over the summer months, and tight supplies will create favourable market conditions for lamb,” he said.
According to the sheep chairman, the mart trade has also strengthened, with good quality cull ewes in demand.
He reported that prices are comparable or above what factories are paying in some cases.
Concluding, Dennehy advised farmers to avoid selling underweight lambs. He stated that farmers should “sell hard” to maximise returns in a “positive” market for sheep meat.
IFA hosts nationwide tractor rally
Meanwhile, the farm group held a nationwide rally on Friday, Jun 11th, to highlight the importance of commercial farming to the rural economy.
This was the first large scale demonstration by IFA since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Farmers gather in county towns across the country to warn against the dangers in the current CAP proposals and the Climate Action Bill.