Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

Lambs increase ¤5-8/hd as Islamic festival nears

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Lamb prices have increased by €5-8/hd at marts in the past fortnight as the Eid-al-Adha Islamic festival approaches.

Increased demand from factories for finished lambs and from farmers for store lambs has boosted the mart trade, while plentiful grass and the issuing of the single farm payment are also driving factors.

Wether prices improved by up to €7/hd at Tullow Mart this week, while factory lambs increased by up to €12/hd.

The same trend was noted at Drumshanbo Mart, where store lamb prices and cull ewe prices rose by €5/hd.

Prices for all sheep classes improved by €4-5/hd at Roscommon Mart, while Loughrea Mart reported lamb price increases of €5-8/hd this week.

Tullamore Mart reported an increase of €5/hd for store lambs and €10-12/hd for breeding ewe lambs.

A buoyant live export trade is putting a floor in the market, with Westmeath-based livestock exporters TLT International exporting sheep in their thousands in advance of the Eid-al-Adha festival.

TLT's Paulo Garavelli said he had been buying sheep strongly for the past six weeks and would continue to do so for another six weeks.

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However, he said his lamb purchases over the past 10 days had included too many cold and wet lambs with feet in bad condition.

ICSA sheep chairman Paul Brady advised sheep farmers to explore the option of selling ewe lambs through marts.

"Ewe lambs with only average potential can get as much as 10pc higher than factory prices and 20pc for top quality stock at present," he said.

Mr Brady also warned farmers to ensure their lambs were well fed and ready for culling before bringing them to the factory.

"Farmers must make sure that lambs are of correct weight before bringing them to factories," he advised.

"Prices across the board have recovered well after a bottoming out in the past month, but farmers must also be aware that only the well-fed lambs will get the best prices."

Caitriona Murphy

Indo Farming