By Fwi staff

NEW season lamb values are continuing to ease as the numbers brought to livestock auctions across the country increase.

Lamb prices fell slightly at markets yesterday (Wednesday) with new-season SQQ prices settling at 108p/kg.

Values now stand 15p down on what they were last year.

Old season lambs have also dropped as the new season replaces this market.

Hogget prices slipped to 73.85p/kg at auctions yesterday, with new lambs accounting for over 70% of all marketings.

Nevertheless, some auctioneers reported good trade this week although they acknowledged that the trend for the coming weeks was likely to be down.

At Lancaster market this week, John Hughes reported a better trade with prices ranging between 108-114p/kg for new season sock.

There are more buyers moving forward for new season lambs and demand is good, said Mr Hughes.

Demand is also good for light weight lambs and a number of lambs can be marketed earlier this year taking some pressure off the market later in the season, he said.

Mr Hughes said that numbers have increased substantially in recent weeks with 2,500 lambs marketed at his auction on Monday.

Although talk of a larger lamb crop is widespread at many markets across the country he does not believe this will be the case in the Highlands.

Wet weather has reduced the fertility of some crops, said Mr Hughes.

Despite better prices at Lancaster this week prices will gradually slip in the coming weeks as more lambs come to market, he said.

But he was cautious to comment on whether a similar situation to last year will occur again.

There are so many variables to consider. The strength of the Pound and the success of exports – we could quite easily see it.