Prices paid to sheep farmers are stronger than previous weeks, with €5.10/5.20/kg “freely available”, according to IFA sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy.
“Some deals are available for regular sellers or large groups for €5.25/€5.30/kg. When all bonuses are included, some producer groups are achieving €5.35/kg.”
He said that ewes are making €2.60/€2.80/kg with a “strong” made trade for all categories.
Farmers, he said, should be mindful that the base price does not reflect the price paid to farmers at the moment, outlining that when you add the QA bonus, “considerably more” can be achieved.
“When the base price is taken as it is and a farmer is not quality-assured, the extent to which the base price is out of kilter is clearly evident.”
The farm group said it has taken this up with MII as it reduces the price to producer groups. “At this stage, the base price is so far removed from reality, it’s unfit for purpose.”
Factories are also competing in marts for lambs weighing 39 kgs and heavier, according to the IFA official.
“Some of these lambs would usually have been fed on. This will also reduce numbers available in the short and medium-term. These factors suggest a stable price over the next few weeks.”
The advice from IFA is that farmers should sell lambs as they become fit and “bargain hard” on weight and price.