Irish lamb prices are rising driven by a strong trade and very scarce supplies.
Irish Farmers Association National Sheep Committee Chairman John Lynskey said the meat plants are struggling to get numbers to meet market demand and have increased prices to €4.70/kg up to 22.5kg carcase weight in places.
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said recent large weekly kills has cleared out a lot of lambs and left supplies scarce.
He said the weekly kill has exceeded last year for every week since Easter and the 73,000 head kill for week ending October 5th has left the factories chasing lambs this week.
Mr Lynskey said reports from farmers and producer groups around the country are indicating the larger numbers of lambs are definitely sold off at this stage and supplies will be much tighter for the rest of the year.
The IFA National Sheep Chairman said there was also a strong live export trade in September with 27,500 exported in the month. He said the main live export markets were France accounting 39 per cent, followed by Belgium (36 per cent) and Germany (17 per cent).
Mr Lynskey said to date this year live exports stand at 42,674, back 19 per cenr or 9,800 on last year, according to Bord Bia data.
In addition, Mr Lynskey said with the Northern Ireland factory kill up by 71,000 head this year, imports to the Republic are back 20 per cent or almost 70,000 head.
He said all the evidence is pointing to lambs having been sold off in both the Republic and in Northern Ireland, leaving supplies very tight for the remainder of 2014 and well into 2015.
TheMeatSite News Desk