Farmers who trade sheep in the dual processing factories of Dawn Ballyhaunis, Kepak Athleague and Kildare Chilling have started the week facing huge uncertainty.

No access

No sheep are being permitted access to Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis, while Monday’s sheep kill in Kildare Chilling was greatly curtailed.

The remaining two export-orientated sheep plants – Irish Country Meats Camolin and Navan - are unaffected.

Reports show the two ICM plants plants remain on a base quote of €4.50/kg for lambs.

Kildare Chilling continues to actively quote a base of €4.60/kg, while farmers trading through groups are securing top prices ranging between €4.75/kg and €4.85/kg when all bonus payments are taken into account.

However, there are growing concerns about the impact a backlog in factory-fit lambs could have on the mart trade and breeding sales. Farmers unable to sell factory-fit lambs will be facing cashflow pressure and, with three plants practically closed, agent activity around rings will be reduced.

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