Lamb prices had dropped sharply again, dashing hopes that trade had settled after markets improved last week.

The average SQQ deadweight price jumped from 392.8p/kg to 404p/kg in the week to 26 July – its first increase since 11 June when it peaked at 524.7p/kg. However, in the latest week to 2 August the SQQ fell again to 382p/kg – its lowest level since March 2013.

“After a period of much better seasonal conditions, UK sheep meat supplies will continue to be higher,” said a report by Eblex. “Slaughterings have been well ahead of the previous year’s levels, with the May lamb kill up 10% and June slaughterings up 8%.”

While part of these increases was the result of the larger lamb crop (up by about 6% on last year), good conditions and feed availability meant the slaughter pattern this year was earlier, it added. “With weights for both lambs and adult sheep expected to be heavier during 2014, total UK sheepmeat production was forecast to be more than 4% higher on the year at 302,000t. At the halfway point of the year, production has been nearly 3% ahead of 2013 levels.”

See also: Strong pound adds farmgate price pressure