IFA National Sheep Chairperson, John Lynskey, said the lamb trade has settled this week with supplies back following the Eid festival, and factories are paying €4.85 to €4.95/kg to get lambs.
He said top prices of up to €5.00/kg were paid. On weights, he said more farmers were securing weights to 22kgs and a number of factories had moved to this level.
Mr Lynskey said the Brexit sterling exchange rate crisis is having an impact on the sheep sector due to more competitive UK exports onto the French market. He said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the Government will have to take this on board when devising the details of their Brexit Budget plan over the next few weeks.
The IFA Sheep Chairperson said that Brexit is critical for the sheep sector with important decisions to be made around the New Zealand lamb imports and the allocation of the Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) between the UK and the EU. He said there are some reports that negotiations were advanced on this issue last week but no announcement was made. He warned the EU Commission that the New Zealand quota of 228,000 tonnes must be allocated on a historical trading basis between the UK and the EU. He said Irish and European sheep farmers cannot be disadvantaged.
Mr Lynskey met with the NFU (National Farmers Union) and the AHDB (Agriculture and Hortulcural Development Board) in the UK last week for a discussion on sheep issues, which included a discussion on how the TRQ’s on sheep meat will be dealt with in Brexit.