Transport chaos between Britain and Europe has curtailed Irish sheepmeat exports and led to many factories turning to contingency plans they were putting in place in case of a no-deal Brexit. In contrast to beef, the majority of sheepmeat exports are destined for EU markets such as France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Scandinavian countries.

The main route to these markets is via the UK. The timing of the transport disruption is bad in terms of getting final pre-Christmas orders closed.

The fact that factories were planning to operate at a lower level of throughput this week has lessened the blow to an extent but factories are still keen to try and get product moved with no sign of a quick resolution.

Many factories had experimented with the longer route by boat and reports indicate this is the route many turned to on Tuesday to move export volumes.

There is no doubt, however, that volumes moved have been curtailed somewhat with some factories reducing throughput.

With demand holding strong, there is an appetite to maximise what throughput they can while plans are being put in place to hopefully get back to a strong level of throughput next week and replenish any stocks where required.