4 December 1998

Deadweight sales hit live lamb price

PRODUCERS selling their best lambs deadweight are undermining their own prices by selling poorer lambs liveweight, claimed NSA chief executive, John Thorley.

Speaking at a farmers weekly Farmer Forum, Mr Thorley said our stratified sheep industry relied entirely on auction markets. "Maintaining a flexible marketing system is essential and represents the way business is conducted in the sheep industry.

"Some producers sell their best lambs through the deadweight system. What they have left, lower quality lambs, are sold through auction markets. But the average price of what sells through the live market sets the deadweight price," he said.

NFU livestock specialist Kevin Pearce said live markets were critical for the long-term development of the sheep industry. "But live markets have to wake up to new challenges in marketing." &#42