Deadweight lamb prices slip for second week

Lamb prices have eased for the second week running, with too many heavier and over-spec animals in the system limiting trade.

In the week to 3 March, the SQQ R3L price averaged 442.9p/kg deadweight – a drop of 2.5p/kg over the past fortnight. However, liveweight trade recovered some of the previous week’s drop, to 202.1p/kg, with light weights in particular demand and rising by 3.2p/kg on the week. Heavy weights recorded another drop, down by 1.1p to 183.7p/kg.

Clean sheep slaughterings in January fell by 4% on the year, to 978,000 head, according to a report by AHDB Meat Services. “However, this was on the back of a 7% increase in January 2011.” The adult sheep kill totalled 171,000 head – 13% down on the year following a 31% increase in January 2011.

“The mild winter and ample feed supply has contributed to heavier weights. In January, lamb carcasses were over 1% heavier at 19.6kg and adult sheep carcasses almost 2% higher at 25.5kg. These heavier weights offset the lower kill to some degree, with mutton and lamb production in the UK less than 5% lower than in January 2011 at 23,500t.”



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