ICSA Sheep Chairman Paul Brady has criticised the sudden drop in lamb prices this week, despite a boost in demand due to the Ramadan festival which begins on June 28 and runs for a month.

“Prices have dropped from €5.80/kg on Monday to €5.20/kg today. This is a savage and unwarranted cut,” said Mr. Brady.

“Even though supplies have been a little on the strong side this week as farmers return to selling after the recent good weather, this must be counter-balanced by the increase in demand associated with Ramadan.”

According to Bord Bia, trade remained strong again this week, however there has been some ease in prices due to an increase in supply.

It says average lamb prices decreased on last week’s prices. Base quotes for Spring lamb were generally making around €5.30/kg. Prices paid for cull ewes were making between €2.30 and €2.60/kg.

Supplies for the week ending June 21 stood at around 56,700 head, which is around 7,000 head or 15% higher than the corresponding week in 2013. Cumulative supplies are in line with 2013 figures standing at around 1.07 million head.

In Britain Bord Bia says the trade was described as stable and it is hoped that the forthcoming Muslim festival of Ramadan will boost demand. The SQQ live price for new season lambs in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €5.91/kg dw during the week.

In France, it says demand remains slow with plentiful supply of UK lambs on the market. Volumes of Irish lamb on the market continue to remain strong. The Irish Grade 1 Spring lamb price was making around €6.09/kg (inclusive of VAT) during the week. It is hoped that trade will pick up next week in the run up to Ramadan which begins on Saturday June 28.