Deadweight lamb prices have reached a new high of 479.2p/kg (for R3L grades in the week to 13 April) – their highest level since June 2011.

But liveweight hogget values have dropped by more than 10p/kg, to an SQQ average of 195.9p/kg. “This seems to conform to the usual seasonal pattern, when prices for old season lambs peak in the immediate aftermath of Easter and then start to ease as the trade heads into the new season period,” said a report by AHDB Meat Services.

“However, with Easter being earlier and some delays to new season supplies, we are still likely some way off entering the new season proper. As such there is still some reason to believe hogget prices may be supported for a while yet.”

New season prices had dropped sharply, with latest prices about 25p/kg lower than pre-Easter trade, at an SQQ of 250.4p/kg in the week to 16 April. “With fewer new season lambs likely to have been born and the harsh weather of the last six months delaying the progress of those that were, the number coming to market is still well down on year earlier levels,” said the report.

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