24 August 2001

Sheep price survey launched by MLC

THE NFU and National Sheep Association have welcomed a new, weekly deadweight sheep price survey launched by the Meat and Livestock Commission.

With live auction marts closed, accurate price reporting has been sadly lacking, said NFU deputy president Tim Bennett.

David Croston, MLCs head of sheep strategy, said: "Producers are having to sell on a deadweight basis due to F&M restrictions, which is unusual for them. It is even more important to have price transparency now, so farmers know where to pitch lamb prices."

The report covers nearly 25% of UK clean sheep production, and Mr Croston expects that to increase to 35% of the weekly national kill.

Prices quoted for lambs in the 12-21.5kg dw rangewill represent the gross price paid to producers before any deductions.

John Thorley, NSA chief executive, said the next step was to bring in a trimming standard to avoid price distortions.

The weekly prices will be available in the markets section of farmers weekly and FWi. &#42