Lamb price increase has been long awaited, says UFU

Thursday, 7 November, 2019

The Ulster Farmers’ Union says sheep farmers have welcomed the increase in lamb prices that has been long overdue, but more needs to be done to ensure the cost of production is met.

The comments were made as farmgate prices for lamb increased by 30p/kg to 390p/kg, and local factories are quoting a carcase weight of 22kg. 

UFU beef and lamb chairman, Sam Chesney said, “It is a step in the right direction to see factories offering a better price for lamb, something which sheep farmers have been waiting on for a long time. The cost of production has continued to rise in NI while farmgate prices have plummeted in the opposite direction. Farmers have been doing their best to keep their businesses financially viable with the disastrously low prices and this increase will give struggling sheep farmers a bit of stability. However, farmers need to push on to ensure the price increase continues so that production costs are covered, and they can make a profitable income.

“There is a strong demand for lambs, and we are encouraging our farmers to negotiate on the price they are being offered by local processors. The live trade in mart rings is rising and farmers need to make the most of the strong situation they are in to get the best price possible. Our sheep farmers, similar to beef farmers, need to look at all options to increase revenue at this difficult period. They need to champion the great work they’re doing to produce Farm Quality Assured lamb, farmed to some of the highest environmental and animal welfare standards in the world.”