Market report: Sheep prices feel the pinch

Finished sheep prices have dropped sharply in recent weeks, falling by almost 17p/kg in the fortnight to 3 October.

SQQ values for R3L lambs fell by 12.3p/kg in the week to 3 October to 310.3p/kg deadweight – sparked by the seasonal increase in abattoir throughputs and low retail demand. However, prices were still 17.1p/kg above the same week last year. EBLEX estimated GB prime sheep slaughterings to be 338,000 head in the week to 26 September – a weekly rise of 6%, and nearly 8% higher than the same time last year.

Fresh and frozen sheepmeat exports from January to July increased by 5%, year-on-year, to 48,000t. Aided by the weak pound, trade increased by 24% in value terms, to £173m, said EBLEX. “The volume shipped to France fell by 2%, to 33,000t, but there were marked increases to smaller markets, notably Belgium, Germany and Italy.”

Imports rose by 3% over the same period, to 83,500t, while the value increased by almost a quarter, to £274m. “Import volumes from New Zealand were 6% higher, despite tight lamb supplies, as product has been diverted to meet demand on the high value UK market.”

Upcoming webinar

SEPTEMBER
30

What does the future of farming look like post Covid-19 and Brexit?

Register today