Spring lambs out at grass©Tim Scrivener

Lamb prices have plummeted over the past week, with both old and new season lambs showing significant falls.

In the week to 25 April, old season R3L lambs lost 29.2p/kg to average 420.9p/kg deadweight, while the SQQ average fell by 28.2p/kg to 417.2p/kg.

Liveweight markets mirrored that decline in the week to 28 April, with the SQQ dropping by 10.7p/kg to 176.3p/kg, despite a 14% reduction in numbers to 94,184 head.

New season lamb prices fell by 16.6p/kg over the same period, to a liveweight SQQ of 208.5p/kg, as numbers increased by 33% to 11,603 head.

See also: More market prices and trends

“Late April typically sees the numbers of new season lambs increase, with prices adjusting as increased supplies become available,” said NFU president Meurig Raymond.

“However, the past two weeks have seen prices fall by nearly 20%. This is worrying, as early lamb requires a premium to cover its increased cost of production.”

Mr Raymond called on retailers to support British farmers rather than promote cheap imports.

“If farmers don’t have confidence in production, then long-term supply of home-grown lamb to consumers is going to be at risk.”