Market demand for lambs added 40c/kg to the price in the last week, according to IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy.
He said factories are offering €7.40/kg, with deals on weights to 22.5/kg, and in some cases, 23kg. Transport is also on offer to secure lambs.
Dennehy said higher deals are available for groups and larger lots and the trade will continue to strengthen as supplies fall well short of market demand.
Some factories are also offering bonuses of 20c/kg for light lambs up to 15/kg, in an attempt to increase throughput of lambs.
“It’s a situation that is replicated in Northern Ireland and Britain, with supplies well below last year’s levels and prices increasing strongly over the past week. French lamb prices are also increasing. Industry experts expect this trend to continue as volumes of New Zealand lamb are not available in the market place due to supply and shipping issues,” he said.
Dennehy said local competition in marts is intense between butchers, wholesalers, factory agents and store finishers.
“This is providing farmers with a real competitive alternative to factories and ensuring the supply demand balance remains firmly in farmers’ favour,” he said.
Good-quality store lambs are making €3-€3.40/kg in marts, with ewe lambs suitable for breeding coming in at the higher end. Hill lambs and crossbreds are making up to €3/kg.
Cull ewes are in the main ranging from €3.10/kg to €3.30/kg in factories.
The IFA sheep chair said farmers should shop around, depending on their stock, to get the best deal and sell hard in a buoyant EU and UK lamb market where supplies are failing to meet demand.