No Easter joy for farmers as sheep prices remain static
AS I settled into writing my various reports yesterday morning my phone rang, on the end of the line was a very angry sheep farmer.
He told me that sheep prices at €5.20/kg for hoggets were the lowest he could remember at Easter for a very long time, and that was before he factored in annual cost increases. The farmer blamed the factories.
ICSA’s John Brooks was no less critical.
Indeed, he provided me with figures that show the processors imported 3,680 tonnes of sheep meat last year, of which 3,395 tonnes came from Britain.
“If you calculate on the basis of a 20kg lamb carcass this equates to approximately 170,000 sheep.
“This also equates to approximately one full month’s lamb kill. If you add to this the significant number of live sheep imported for direct slaughter from Britain, it raises serious questions and doubts as to traceability and labelling. It also casts a cloud over ‘Origin Green’ and the Bord Bia quality assurance scheme,” Mr Brooks said.
Looking at the various factory quotes as outlined in the table below, you can see the issue from the producers’ point of view.
It is Easter week and there is little movement on prices across the board. The exceptions are Moyvalley who rise their all in quote for spring lamb by 10c/kg to €6.20/kg. Kildare Chilling also move up 10c/kg to €6.00/kg plus 10c/kg bonus.