‘Strong demand for lamb for the near future’

Demand for lambs will be very strong over the next number of weeks in the lead in to the Eid Muslim festival – and farmers should demand full value for their stock, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey.

Lynksey said prices at the factories were stronger this week with €5.20/kg widely available and tops of €5.25/5.30/kg given.

The chairman said retail demand for lamb is strong and factories are anxious for numbers. As well as this, he said, carcass weight cut-off at the factories is also rising with an increased number of plants moving up to 22kgs. Ewes are making €3.00/kg, he added.

In the lead up to the Eid Muslim festival, Lynskey noted that peak weekly kill at the factories would normally exceed 70,000 head and this will involve a major lift up from last week’s processed figures, which totalled 52,000 head.

Lynskey added that the mart trade is also strong with active buying from farmer and live export quarters.

Live buying outlets are offering from €2.30/2.35/kg liveweight, the sheep chairman said. He added that the breeding sales are in full swing and also going well.

In other news, a group of inspectors from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to visit a number of Irish beef, pig and sheepmeat plants in the not too distant future.

The inspectors are to arrive in September and will spend time assessing the high standards of Irish processing facilities.

AgriLand understands that the primary focus of the upcoming visit is on sheepmeat access; and it is hoped the inspection visit will progress the matter of Irish sheepmeat access to the US.

Accessing the US market will be a positive step for the Irish sheepmeat industry, as the market imported 86,000t of sheepmeat in 2016 – over 50% of its domestic consumption.