14 November 1997

Lamb bounces back this week

LAMB prices bounced back up on Monday, after weeks of sliding downwards.

Mondays average price at Meat and Livestock Commission sample markets was 104p/kg, up more than 6p on the week.

Increased confidence came as the threat of prolonged road blocks in France disappeared, says Duncan Sinclair of the Meat and Livestock Commission.

Exporters, however, still have their backs to the wall in the face of the strong £ sterling.

The upturn in values will be seen as too little, too late by many farmers who remember this time last year, when the average was approaching 140p/kg.

And dont rule out the possibility of values slipping back below the 100p/kg-mark, warns Mr Sinclair. "Farmers have delayed marketing sheep – and this cant go on indefinitely."

&#8226 For more details on the postponed sheep marketings, see p37.