Demand for lamb is heating up ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival, which takes place from 19 to 23 July, with factories and live shippers competing strongly, IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy has said.

“Live shippers are providing real competition, with €3/kg to 50kg offered to secure suitable lambs,” Dennehy said.

“Factories have had to increase prices again and deals to €6.60/kg are available with weights of 21.5kg also offered by factories.

“After the Eid festival, breeding sales and store buyers will underpin the trade and with significant numbers of lambs already sold this year, it’s very unlikely there will be any glut of lambs.”

Strong overall

The IFA has said that store lamb sales have started strongly, with up to €70 over the weight paid for good-quality lambs.

Cull ewe prices are particularly strong in marts, with large-framed, well-fleshed cull ewes exceeding €200 in some sales.

Dennehy said sheep mart prices have also strengthened for all types, calling on farmers to sell hard in favourable market conditions, while moving lambs as they become fit to maximise returns.