‘Factories are crying out for lambs at present’ – ICSA

Lamb supplies will remain tight into the spring and continue to fuel strong demand, according to Sean McNamara, the sheep chairperson of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Speaking on the strong factory prices for lambs at the moment, Sean said that factories are crying out for lambs currently, with prices of up to €6.50/kg available this week.

He added: “The demand is there, but farmers still need to push on price. Supplies will remain tight for a while yet, so a collective push is needed to keep the momentum going for better prices.

With less lamb coming into Europe from New Zealand, and increased bureaucracy around UK suppliers shipping to Europe, the opportunity is there for us to increase supplies to our existing markets and also to break into new markets.

“But we need to see the benefits filter down to the primary producer, and while €6.50/kg is better than €6.20 or €6.30, it still does not cover the cost of production,” Sean concluded.

Lambs top €145/head at Kilkenny

George Candler reported an excellent trade for lambs at Kilkenny Mart on Monday (January 11), which he believes was helped by the smaller numbers on offer.

Lamb prices reached a high of €145/head. Butcher lambs made from €128/head up to €145/head or from €2.60/kg up to €2.82/kg.

Factory lambs were a very lively trade and sold to highs of €141/head (or €3.00/kg). In general, these lots traded from €120/head up to €141/head.

Forward store lambs at Kilkenny on Monday sold up to €116/head. Overall, store lambs, both light and forward types, made from €89/head up to €115-116/head.