Wednesday 22 October 2014

trade boost as Lamb priceS UP 50C/KG

James Smyth Procurement manager Irish Country Meats

Published 05/03/2014 | 02:30

The sheep trade edged upwards again this week. When comparing the trade with the same period last year, lamb prices are up 50c/kg on average.

Ewe prices remained steady and in line with 2013.

In France, the market was reported as quiet this week, with €5/kg being paid for Irish Grade 1 lambs, while Irish Grade 2 lambs are making €4.50/kg.

Grade 2 lambs are those that are over fat and over weight.

New season spanish lambs are available at €4.90- €5/kg, while French Lacaune lambs are also now available in larger quantities at €5.50/kg, which will put additional pressure on the sale of Irish lamb in the coming weeks due mainly to the fact that these are new-season lambs.

As in 2013, domestic requirement for BLQAS lamb remains strong and Irish Country Meats (ICM) are continuously looking for in-spec quality-assured lamb to satisfy this demand.

SCHEME

ICM would encourage producers who are not currently in the scheme to consider joining this year.

Also key for 2014 is the promotion and implementation of EID tags for new-season lamb. While offering stock management benefits at farm level, EID tags will assist the industry to deliver a more comprehensive traceability system.

With this in mind, ICM would encourage producers to consider EID Tags as a progressive step in the management of their business.

EID was just one of the topics addressed at two STAP discussion group meetings which took place in ICM Camolin last month.

As well as a factory tour, groups discussed presentation of sheep for slaughter, drafting, live weight selection, grading, kill out percentage, problematic ram lambs and the importance of BLQAS to the industry.

Market specifications and requirements were also discussed and the challenges of meeting these requirements at this time of the year.

We were delighted to facilitate these meetings and I think it's fair to say all parties found it to be a very worthwhile exercise.

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