Finished lamb prices continue to fluctuate, with deadweight values rising for the second consecutive week but live markets dropping by almost 3p/kg.
Following a 17.7p/kg increase in the SQQ R3L average deadweight price last week, trade firmed by another 0.3p/kg in the week to 25 August. In contrast, liveweight markets fell for the second week running, bringing the SQQ average to 182.9p/kg – 7.6p/kg down over the fortnight.
“Better prices appear to have encouraged increased marketings, with the latest GB estimated slaughter up 32,000 head on the previous week,” said a report by EBLEX. “This potentially points to increased numbers of lambs due to come forward in the coming weeks as the poor weather has abated somewhat, allowing producers to finish lambs.”
However, producers’ concerns over forage availability this winter meant breeding sheep trade had eased, it added. “In the four weeks to 18 August, shearling ewes in the ‘other’ category of sheep (mostly mules or other crosses) averaged £131 a head, a drop of over £10 on the year.”
Sheep exports in June were 3% up, year-on-year, with improved trade to non-EU markets. Imports fell by 1% over the same period.