Wanted: 10,000 ram lambs for export

An Irish company has agreed terms to export 10,000 ram lambs over the coming weeks, AgriLand can exclusively reveal.

The Wicklow Calf Company, operated by the Scallan family in Mooreshill, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, has secured a contract to export 10,000 lambs for the Muslim festival of EID and buying will commence this month.

Details of the consignment were finalised earlier today, August 2, and ram lambs weighing 40-47kg are required to fill the contract.

In addition, lambs are also required to: have long tails; be well-fleshed; have electronic tags for export; and lambs can not be accepted if inward movements have occurred in a flock within a 21-day period.

Furthermore, the contract only requires continental breeds and no Scotch lambs will be accepted. Top prices will be paid for lambs meeting the above requirements.

Last year, some 48,000 sheep were exported from Ireland by live export means; this was an increase of almost 50% on the previous year’s 32,000 head.

According to Bord Bia, 75% of these exports happened during the month of August – one month ahead of the Muslim festival of EID.

The news is likely to give the Irish lamb trade a much needed boost, as spring lamb prices have come under increased pressure in recent weeks.

Some factories have dropped spring lamb quotes by another 25c/kg this week or 45c/kg over the past two weeks.

As it stands, a 21kg lamb carcass will earn a farmer €9.45 less than the same lamb two weeks ago. This week’s base prices currently stands at 480-500c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance Scheme bonuses).