Lamb prices are on the up and up this week

Lamb trade in factories is stronger this week with numbers at the factories tighter, said IFA sheep chairman John Lynskey.

John Lynskey links the rise in lamb price to tighter supply.

The IFA criticised meat plants for the loss-making prices offered to farmers. Prices are down 65c/kg or €15 per head versus 2016. With weight cuts, the losses are as high as €20 per lamb.

However, Mr Lynskey said prices of €4.80 to €4.90 per kg are on offer this week, with some deals for more being negotiated.

“Factories are unfairly using a relatively small volume of increased numbers of heavier lambs to undermine the market,” said Mr Lynskey. “If the factories want in-spec quality lambs, let them offer a viable price for them and farmers will move them earlier and at lighter weights.”

Meanwhile, IFA hill chairman Pat Dunne said in the review of the ANCs that all areas classified as mountain sheep grazing areas must qualify for the highest rate of payment in the 2018 scheme. He said 31,500 farmers currently benefit from the higher payment.

For 24,000 of these farmers, their total area is classified as mountain grazing. These payments are worth around €85m of the total allocation of €205m.

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