Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 19 October 2017

Move by some factories to try to restrict lamb carcase weights - IFA

Michael Harrrington, Castletownbere, Co Cork, tagging his Scotch sheep at Kenmare Mart. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan
Michael Harrrington, Castletownbere, Co Cork, tagging his Scotch sheep at Kenmare Mart. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A move by some factories to try to restrict carcase weights to 22.5kg is being strongly resisted, according to IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey.

He said farmers should insist on at least 23kg and added that on 50 lambs this type of cut will cost a producer €119.

In addition, John Lynskey said IFA has made it very clear to the factories and the Department of Agriculture that the imposition of clipping charges of 20c per lamb is very wrong and highly discriminatory especially on producers who are supplying clean lambs. 

Trade

Lynskey has said the lamb trade is steady with factories paying €4.70/4.75/kg to get lambs and some top prices including bonuses of €4.80+/kg being paid.

He said the indications are that lamb supplies are tighter this week compared to last week and factories are finding it harder to get lambs.

Last week base quotes for hoggets were generally making around €4.50/kg to €4.65/kg with selected lots gaining higher returns while prices for culled ewes were generally making around €2.40/kg to €2.45/kg.

Throughput

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Overall throughputs at export meat plants in 2016 stood at 2.67 million head, a 3% rise on 2015 levels.

Cumulatively for the full year 2016 hoggets and adult sheep were up 7% and 26% respectively on 2015 levels while spring lambs were back 3%.

Higher throughputs resulted in higher volumes available for export during 2016. For the first full week of 2017 supplies stood at around 48,000 head made up of around 41,000 hoggets and 7,000 adult sheep.

Markets

In Britain, Bord Bia reports a relatively steady trade was reported this week. The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €4.27/kg dw during the week.

In France, it says the market remains slow following the festive period with an abundance of competitively priced UK lamb on the market.

Demand has eased for legs and loins with limited retail promotions taking place on domestically produced product. Grade 1 Irish lamb was making around €5.15/kg DW (incl VAT) during the week.

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