Deadweight lamb prices have dropped sharply, with the old season R3L average down by 34.6p/kg, to 434.1p/kg in the week to 28 April. New season values also slumped, with the SQQ average losing 58.7p/kg, to 463.8p/kg.
“Prices are likely still being pressured by the strong value of sterling and slow demand after the Easter period,” said a report by AHDB Meat Services. “However, the recent figures pointing to a double-dip recession in the UK have weakened the value of sterling to some degree.”
UK sheep meat imports in February totalled 5,400t, 21% lower than last year, which in itself was a slow year. “In contrast to last year, the main driver in this is the lacklustre demand in the UK market rather than tight (global) supplies.”
Exports reached 7,000t – a rise of nearly 8% on February 2011. “Volumes to France increased by 8%, while to Germany they were up 15%,” said the report. “Volumes to non-EU markets increased by a third, accounting for more than 9% of total shipments. These increases are further evidence of weakened demand on the home market, which has resulted in increased product being available for export, despite production falling.”