Supplies of suitably finished lambs are tight on the ground and the lower kill-out rates this year has reduced the volumes of sheepmeat being processed, Kevin Comiskey has said.

The sheep chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) said that despite persisting in lowering quotes, factories are anxious for lambs and are offering various deals on transport and other charges to entice sellers, bringing prices up to the equivalent of €6.90/kg to €7.00/kg in some deals.

Kevin said: “Factories must recognise the costs of production sheep farmers are facing this year and reflect it in lamb prices.

“The behaviour over the past few weeks and this week in particular only serves to undermine confidence in the sector.

“Store lamb sales have started out well but it is critical farmers see a commitment from factories to return strong lamb prices to underpin this trade.

“Demand for cull ewes is strong with prices ranging from €3.60/kg to €4.00/kg.

“Tight supplies of well fleshed lambs have increased competition between butchers and wholesalers in some marts adding to the pressures on factory agents to secure supplies.

“Farmers should sell hard, consider the mart outlet and be mindful of the lower kill-outs this year when drafting lambs.”

Quotes back 20-30c/kg

Factories for today (Thursday, July 28) had further reduced lamb prices from earlier in the week by 20-30c/kg.

Base prices for today ranged from €6.40-6.50/kg, with quality assured lambs moving at €6.50-6.65/kg.