Irish meat factories have been called on to “stop the lamb price cuts and stabilise the market at a time when farmers are weaning lambs and finding they are coming in quicker than usual”.

The Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) national sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, said with some factories dropping prices below €5.00/kg, “sheep farming is becoming unviable”.

Dennehy said prices are ranging from €4.85/kg to €5.00/kg with some top prices of €5.10/kg including bonuses. He said ewes are making up to €3.00/kg.

He noted that the store lamb trade has “kicked off well” in the marts, with strong prices being driven by good grass supply.

Dennehy noted that many farmers have decided to focus more on lambs in recent years and said that this is because they are considering Brexit.

Sheepmeat to Japan

Market access for Irish sheepmeat to Japan – that was agreed in principle during a trade mission to Tokyo last month – has been officially given the go ahead.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, confirmed that Ireland has secured access to the Japanese market for sheepmeat.

Commenting on the confirmation, Minister Creed said: “The Japanese authorities have now formally agreed the export verification programme and export certificate as proposed by my department, to take effect from this Friday, July 19.

“The announcement reflects the ongoing focused effort by my department to open and enhance market access to key markets,” he concluded.