The IFA has criticised factories for cuts to lamb prices this week, with offers ranging from €6.20/kg to €6.30/kg and some factories trying to buy lambs for less.

IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy said market conditions are strong and the numbers of suitable lambs are tight.

“This attempt by factories is opportunistic and unjustified.

“Farmers are rightly holding out for prices of €6.40/kg and €6.50/kg, which were available at the end of last week in similar market conditions, and have set these prices as the base line.”

Tight supplies

The IFA has advised farmers to sell hard, with the extra 55,000 lambs processed in 2020, combined with increased retention of ewe lambs, reducing the numbers available to factories.

Dennehy continued: “Factories are finding it difficult to fill supermarket orders with the numbers of lambs available to them.

“There is reduced volumes of imported lamb in the EU market which is also contributing to the strong market demand.”

The IFA has said strong and stable market conditions and tight supplies must be reflected in the lamb prices and current price reductions attempted by factories are unjustified.