IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey said finished lamb supplies at the factories have tightened considerably in the last week, leaving farmers in a much stronger selling position.
He said factories are looking for lambs and paying €4.75/kg, with some top-ups to €4.80/kg being spoken about.
John Lynskey said there have been a number of weeks of big kills and, together with the bad weather and lack of thrive, this has left finished lambs supplies much tighter. He said numbers in the producer groups are way back this week and agents are anxiously looking for stock. He said farmers are feeding meals to get lambs finished and this cost must be reflected in higher returns.
The IFA Sheep Chairman said farmers with fit lambs should bargain hard and insist on a good bonus over the quoted prices on offer from the factories.
John Lynskey said the Christmas demand will be kicking in and this will add to already strong demand.
The IFA Sheep Farmers leader said carcase weights should also move up to 23kgs at this time of year.
John Lynskey said ewes were making €2.50 to €2.60/kg.