Sheep farmers are in fine fettle this week, with control of the trade swinging back in their favour due to a very tight supply of lambs.

IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy said: “Factories are struggling to secure lambs. Agents are very active in mart sales in attempts to secure supplies.”

Dennehy said that factories are freely paying €6.30/kg up to 21.5kg, with higher rates on price and weights offered to close out deals.

“Farmers should sell hard in very strong market conditions to maintain control of the trade.”

Dennehy also said that farmers shouldn’t sell to factories unless their lambs are fit and that the very strong store trade is ensuring alternatives for lighter and under-finished lambs.

This will keep supply and demand balanced.

Cull ewes are making €3.30/kg, with higher deals in some cases.