Lamb carcasses© Tim Scrivener

New season lamb prices have fallen over the past week, reversing previous gains.

The AHDB British average fell by 3p/kg in the week to 14 July, to 158p/kg liveweight, as throughputs increased by 33% to 133,149 head. The SQQ also fell, by 2.85p/kg to 159p/kg, as entries rose by 29% to 116,298 head.

Old season lamb prices fell by 2p/kg, to an SQQ average of 114p/kg as numbers rose by 30% on the week.

See also: 10 bold targets for Welsh beef and sheep farmers to boost production

Deadweight markets showed a similar drop, with the SQQ average losing almost 3p/kg in the week to 11 July, to 346.5p/kg.

In the longer term, declining sheep numbers in Spain could benefit UK exports, said the AHDB report.

Breeding flock numbers have declined since 2006 with meat breeds now 30% lower at 8.8 million head.

Last year, meat production fell 5% to 112,000t and lost a further 4% in the first quarter of 2015, at 35,300t.

This was likely due to reduced profitability and increased production costs, said the report.

“Though the Spanish situation does not directly affect UK prices, any decline in exports from Spain can help UK exporters, particularly in the shared major market of France.”