NEW SEASON lamb prices have slipped back as numbers build, though the market is still described as healthy by the trade.

Jane Connor, economic analyst at the MLC, said: “This time last year, lamb prices rose to exceptionally high levels. We never expected those prices to be repeated this year.

“We will start to see new lambs coming forward quite fast now, but we‘re likely to see the usual, seasonal fall in price throughout June and July,” she said.

Exeter market auctioneer Alan Venner said an easing in price could be a natural market reaction to last year‘s highs.

“Last year there was a considerable jump in trade around this time, and buyers were paying unbelievable prices for both old and new season sheep.

“It‘s possible the abattoirs and supermarkets have made additional provision with New Zealand lamb importers, to compensate for a shortage in supply last year.

“Some people selling them now might be disappointed, having bought them very dear as store lambs in January or February,” he added.