11 January 2000
French blockade hits Welsh lamb price

By FWi Staff

LIGHT lamb values have plummeted at markets in Wales after a temporary loss of export markets amid growing haulier demonstrations in France.

Super-light lambs dropped 20p/kg at Abergavenny market on Tuesday (11 January) to 67.73p/kg liveweight, said auctioneer Lyndon Trumper.

The fall followed a 28% slump in light lamb numbers at market on Monday as farmers realised the effect the hauliers industrial action would have on live deliveries.

Buyers responded swiftly to industrial action by French hauliers, which restricted deliveries by the countrys ports, said livestock exporter Farmers Ferry.

The speed at which prices fell showed that access to foreign markets was vital for the UK sheep industry, said David Owen, chief executive of Farmers Ferry.

At Cowbridge, auctioneer Andrew Thomas reported that orders had dropped substantially. Light lamb values had fallen 4-5p lower.

Last week, however, light lambs averaged 87.5p/kg at markets. But a partial drop in values would have been seen anyway, said Mr Thomas.

A fall in prices caused by the traditional increase in the number of heavier lambs has just been exacerbated by the haulage problems in France.

“Its a lack of confidence all round thats the problem,” he said.