ICSA: Fall in sheep prices ‘unjustified and unacceptable’

30th May, 2013

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has described the current low prices being paid by factories for sheep as “totally unjustified and unacceptable.”

ICSA national sheep chair, Paul Brady, sharply criticised the price cuts in recent days. “The prices I’m being quoted are frankly shocking and I see absolutely no justification for them. Despite what the factories are saying, there is not an oversupply at the moment – in fact, the factories are actively looking for sheep to fulfil demand. To have the prices so low makes no sense.”

Mr Brady outlined, “Across the board, there appears to have been an average price drop of between 40c and 70c per kg in the last seven to eight days – with spring lambs down as far as €5.70 or €5.80 per kg. This is all happening at a time when factories can’t get enough sheep in the door and procurement officers are very busy on the phone looking for produce, so the normal rules of supply and demand don’t seem to be at play here. The fact that hoggets and lambs are being quoted at or near the same price is inconsistent with claims of impending oversupply and we know that there is a good demand for handy hoggets owing to the shortage of spring lambs.”

“Once again we are looking at a situation where sheep farmers are clearly not getting a fair price for their produce and ICSA is saying to the factories that this is simply unacceptable,” Mr Brady concluded.