10 September 1999

Firm lamb values

DESPITE concern that the mild recovery in finished lamb prices was to be short-lived, economists suggest values could firm over the next few weeks.

The firmer prices has been helped along by retailers promotion leading up to last months bank holiday, but deadweight buyers suggest a lull in prices could follow as consumers revert to other meats.

But MLC price reports on Monday show the SQQ had held at 71p/kg despite a 1% increase in lambs marketed to over 170,000 for the week ending Sept 4. Market prices for the same day put standard premium lambs at 74p/kg and standard prime lambs at 64p/kg.

MLCs Lesley Green says although prices are under pressure, values may stabilise if this weeks launch of the £1.7m Quick Lamb promotion helps increase consumer demand.

Lambs entered in sales are up nationally on the same time last year. This could have reduced prices further were it not for the early, strong start to the live export season aided by the introduction of Farmers Ferry. &#42