By FWi staff

NEW-SEASON lamb prices have remained firm this week, despite an increase in numbers taken to market.

The increase has been going on for the past few weeks, on the back of warmer weather and sunshine.

Lambs need cooking twice, noted one auctioneer – “Once in the field and then again in the oven.”

As numbers increase, auctioneers say that demand continues to be firm enough to support values. But many in the industry are concerned how long this will last.

Auctioneer Malcolm Gale of Lichfield market, Staffordshire said there were rumours of a fall in prices: “But I dont know when that will be,” he added.

Lamb prices rose about 2p over the week to average 121.64p/kg at markets yesterday (Wednesday).

The number of hoggets marketed was also up slightly at the start of the week, as the retention period came to an end.

Auctioneers reported a good trade for well-meated old-season lambs, although demand is limited for poorly finished stock.

Old-season lambs drifted over 6p during the week to about 86.51p/kg at markets yesterday.

The demand for these lambs will continue to drop off as imports from New Zealand replace them, said Mr Gale.

He believes that the market for old stock will continue for another week only, as numbers have dropped off significantly in the last week.