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Sheep Producers Rejoice as Lamb Prices Rise in Anticipation of Easter and Ramadan Celebrations

As the Easter and Ramadan celebrations approach, lamb producers in Ireland are seeing a boost in market demand and prices.

Despite a year filled with uncertainty and cloudy skies, the anticipation of these celebrations has given farmers a reason to be optimistic.

With any bit of good news, producers are hoping for a boost of up to 30 cents/kg. The upcoming Ramadan festival, in particular, is known for encouraging consumers to spend a bit more to enjoy the festivities. This has led to a lift in prices for producers as demand increases.

For this week, prices are ranging from 600-620 cents/kg, with an increase of 15-30 cents/kg as processors seek to source stronger intakes to meet the anticipated market demand for the Ramadan festivities that will commence at the end of next week.

Although the new season lamb will be scarce due to fewer breeders engaging in early lamb production, Easter Sunday on April 9 is usually relied upon for a bit of a boost in consumer demand.

At Kilkenny Mart on Monday, the entry was lower, but prices were steady or stronger. The best of the butcher’s hoggets sold for up to €104 over, with a top price of €160 paid for a lot of seventeen butcher’s hoggets averaging 56kg. Additionally, a lot of 16 weighing 55kg sold for €155, a large pen of 44 weighing 58kg made €155, and ten weighing 57kg sold for €155. Factory-type hoggets sold for up to €92 over.

The current market demand and prices are a welcomed relief for producers, who have faced a challenging year filled with uncertainty due to the pandemic and Brexit.

According to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), the Brexit trade deal has caused “unprecedented disruption” to Irish agriculture. Many Irish farmers have faced export restrictions, additional bureaucracy, and new customs procedures, leading to delays and financial losses.

Furthermore, the pandemic has disrupted supply chains and caused logistical issues, leading to decreased demand and prices for lamb and other agricultural products.

Despite these challenges, Irish sheep producers have continued to work tirelessly to ensure the quality and safety of their products, adhering to strict animal welfare and food safety standards.

The rise in prices for lamb is not only good news for producers but also for the wider Irish economy. Agriculture is a significant contributor to the Irish economy, with sheep farming being an important sector, particularly in rural areas.

In addition to providing economic benefits, sheep farming also has significant environmental benefits. Sheep play a vital role in maintaining Ireland’s landscapes, preventing soil erosion, and promoting biodiversity.

As the Easter and Ramadan celebrations approach, Irish sheep producers are looking forward to a bit of good news and a boost in market demand and prices. While the challenges of the past year have been significant, the resilience and dedication of Irish farmers have ensured the continued success of the sheep farming sector.

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