Lamb price cut unwarranted – ICSA

In the last two weeks lamb prices plunged 70c – 80c, with the price falling through the €5.00/kg barrier in many plants around the country in recent days.

ICSA sheep chairman Paul Brady has criticised the further cut in lamb prices, with factories now quoting €4.80/kg, following on from a drop to €5.20/kg last week.

“These recent price cuts are completely unwarranted and putting severe pressure on farmers,” said Mr. Brady. “There appears to be no issue with demand. Ramadan continues for most of this month and factories are happy to quote but €4.80/kg is an unrealistic price for our product. While prices do tend to slip back at this time of year, a drop of 70c in a matter of weeks is completely overdone and out of line with international markets.”

“It also continues to be a source of frustration that factories are only quoting for lambs up to 21kg. While some supermarket and continental markets have very rigid specs in terms of weight, there are many domestic outlets for slightly heavier lambs. ICSA also believes that lambs with top-grade conformation should be very saleable at 22 or 23kg.”

“We now seem to be in a damaging race to the bottom, as factories try to run ahead of the traditional late summer price drop,” continued Mr. Brady. “This is a further example of manipulation of prices by meat factories, just as we have seen already this year in relation to beef.”

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