7 April 2000

Lamb price wavers

AN increase in the number of new season lamb forwarded has met a slight relaxation in prices, and auctioneers advise marketing stock at lower weights to meet demand.

Despite wet conditions, entries of new season supplies were up over 1200 head to almost 3700 on Monday. But the increase – and a reluctance to pay heavily for wet-fleeced stock – helped reduce the days average to 131.5p/kg compared with 134p/kg a week earlier, according to Meat & Livestock Commission figures.

At Taunton Robert Venner is urging producers to moderate finishing weights. "We need more in the 38-40kg liveweight range to meet the needs of those buyers supplying retail customers."

Similarly, hoggs have levelled off as numbers start to decline. With daily entries down almost 7000 head earlier this week, averages eased back slightly to 101p/kg.

However, cull ewes continue to be a strong trade with meatier sorts achieving up to £60 a head at some centres.