Ban a factor in lamb price
High levels of pork flooding on to the European market due to the Russian ban combined with France favouring domestic produce are key factors being blamed for weakness in the lamb trade.
It comes as producers have suffered price hits of €10 to €15 a head in recent weeks.
Meat Industry Ireland, which represents the processors, said retailers have also not yet made the seasonal changeover from hogget to new season lamb but it is hoped this might stabilise the situation as supplies increase.
After meeting with MII, the IFA's sheep chairman John Lynskey said there must be no further upheaval to prices as the changeover gets underway.
He also urged the meat plants to increase payments for carcase weights up to 21kgs.
Cormac Healy of MII said it recognised that market performance in recent weeks was "very disappointing" but pointed out prices had fallen 1pc so far this year on 2015.
"Irish exporters are facing stiff competition from strong supply of local Lacaune lamb, an abundant supply of Spanish lamb on the back of increased production and a more favourable sterling/euro exchange rate has given a competitive advantage to British lamb," he said.
Mr Healy said New Zealand exporters were targeting the Northern European markets.