Shearing will cost farmers in the west at least €1.60/ewe this year
SHEARING will cost farmers in the west at least €1.60/ewe this year as wool prices continue to slide.
Reported prices for wool off mountain ewes varies from 20c/kg in the west to 30c-40/kg in the northwest and southwest.
With shearing costs coming in around €2/hd, and wool yield at under 2kg/hd, this leaves the farmer facing costs per animal of €1.20/hd to €1.60/hd depending on the region.
Sligo shearer Padraig Devaney said shearing activity on the hills was cranking up this week but he admitted that the poor wool price meant the mood among flock owners was depressed.
Lowland wool has also taken a severe hit, back from €1/kg last year to around 60c/kg this summer.
Wicklow wool merchant Vincent Pierce said there was no demand from Chinese buyers for lower grade and rougher wool from Ireland, Britain and New Zealand.
He predicted that wool prices could ease back to 50c/kg if next Tuesday’s wool sale in Bradford goes badly.