Imports of Northern lambs highest since April

Imports of lambs from Northern Ireland reached their highest level since April, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission in Northern Ireland.

Imports of lambs from the North for direct slaughter last week totalled 4,780 head and accounted for just over 9% of the Irish National lamb kill last week.

Year to date imports of lambs from Northern Ireland are down 11% at just under 150,000.

Earlier this year significant concerns were voiced by many on the future of the cross border trade in lambs.

New European labelling requirements cast into doubt the viability of the trade with Southern processors less active in buying from the North in the weeks immediately following the labelling changes.

However, according to the LMC the impact has not been as big as first expected. While imports are running behind normal at present. It says the trade appears to have re-established itself and is now more or less following seasonal norms.

In the Republic supplies at sheep export meat plants for the week ending July 11 stood at around 59,000 head which was up 1% on the corresponding week in 2014.

Cumulative supplies for the year to date are currently running 1% behind on year previous levels standing at 1.24 million head.

Prices

According to the IFA’s latest lamb price update demand good.

It says factories this week are paying €4.80/kg.

According to Bord Bia the sheep trade remains steady on the back of good demand. However it says the trade has eased somewhat across our key export markets.

In Britain, it says the trade has eased due to a rise in supplies.

The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €4.85/kg dw towards the end of the week.

Meanwhile in France, Bord Bia says demand was reported as slow in particular for shoulders and legs with demand for loins increasing..

The price for Grade 1 Irish lamb was making €5.04kg (DW incl VAT) during the week.

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