The liveweight lamb trade has bounced back after dropping sharply last week, but deadweight values continue to decline.

According to the latest data from EBLEX, GB auction values averaged an SQQ of 179.5p/kg in the week to 21 January – an increase of 3.8p on the week but still 1.5p below the level reached two weeks ago. Following last week’s 12% drop in throughputs, numbers fell by another 13% this week, to 95,562 head.

Domestic lamb prices tended to ease during January as consumer demand weakened and some retailers moved to New Zealand product, said the report. “If the trade adheres to the seasonal pattern, prices should strengthen in the run-up to Easter. This should be helped by forecast tight supplies, both at home and abroad; however demand remains a slight concern. Easter is three weeks later this year, meaning any uplift in prices is likely to occur later than last year.”

Deadweight lamb values fell by 8p/kg in the week to 18 January, to an R3L average of 399.2p/kg. Throughputs declined by more than 9%, to 37,810 head, and the overall average, for all grades, dropped from 402.9p/kg to 394.7p/kg.

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