Lambs with ewe©FLPA Rex

The lamb trade continues to look firm and signs are the positivity could continue into the spring.

In the week to 20 January, the GB liveweight SQQ crept up almost half a penny to 191.52p/kg. Throughputs at British marts were back 3% to 115,021. Prices are about 7p/kg ahead of the same point in 2014.

Ewes were still making decent returns compared with last year, but have dipped back under £80 to average £77.26 a head.

The deadweight SQQ climbed 4.2p/kg to 423.6p/kg in the week to 10 January. Average prices are 26p/kg higher than the equivalent week last year. SQQ slaughterings fell 7% to 42,820.

An Eblex report said that, with lambs reportedly taking longer to finish, there was a chance support in the market could carry on up to Easter.

“However, with the expectation that increased numbers will come forward, as always, the evolution of the farmgate price will depend to a significant degree on demand at home and abroad,” the report said.

The latest trade figures show UK sheep meat exports in November totalled more than 10,000t – 14% higher on the year.