Extremely tight supplies driving lamb trade

Kill to date is running 8% behind last year
Extremely tight supplies driving lamb trade

Hogget supplies have decreased over the last few weeks and this has reduced the number of sheep available for slaughter. Picture: Don MacMonagle.  

The factories are freely offering €7.60/kg and deals on transport to secure lambs, with higher deals available for larger numbers, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Cull ewes are making €3.20-€3.50/kg.

The organisation’s sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy highlighted how supplies of suitable finished lambs are tight and market conditions are strong.

“Hogget supplies have significantly decreased in recent weeks, reducing the number of sheep available for slaughter,” he said.

“The kill to-date is running 8% behind last year and with the cold weather slowing lamb finish, the number of suitable lambs available remain low.

“A total of 1,001,500 sheep have been processed in the first 22 weeks of 2021 which is running 78,855 behind the same period in 2020.

“Imports from Northern Ireland for direct slaughter have totalled 91,314, which is back by almost 30,000 on last year.” 

Global shortage

Mr Dennehy went on to say that a combination of flock building in New Zealand and Australia, and strong import demand from China, were all contributing to a global shortage of sheep meat.

“The food service sector demand will continue to grow over the summer months and tight supplies will create favourable market conditions for lamb,” he continued.

“The mart trade has also strengthened, with good quality cull ewes in demand.

“Prices are comparable or above what factories are paying in some cases.

“Farmers should avoid selling underweight lambs and sell hard to maximise returns in a positive market for sheep meat.”

More in this section

Farming
Newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in Farming with our weekly newsletter

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up
Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up