New season lamb prices have dropped sharply over the past week, with the average liveweight SQQ down by 15.5p/kg to 178.7p/kg. Although throughputs were 2% down on last week, at just over 128,000 head, they were much higher than previous weeks, as the better weather had improved the finishing of lambs, said a report by EBLEX.
Deadweight values were also slightly weaker, dropping by 2.7p/kg to 425.5p/kg for an R3L lamb – 11.3p/kg higher than the same time last year. Slaughter numbers were up at 39,413 head, compared with 31,278 last week.
Retail sales of lamb had enjoyed another strong period, with purchases in the four weeks to 8 July 27% up on the year, said analyst Kantar Worldpanel. Sales of leg roasting joints doubled, with shoulder roasting joints up by 10% and ready meals up by 20%.
However, promotional activity was behind the increase, said the EBLEX report, with lower retail prices meaning overall expenditure only increased by 14% to £47.4m.
Annual figures showed that lamb sales by volume in the 52 weeks to 8 July were 6% down on the previous year, at 71,043t, with expenditure up by 1.3% to £605m.