Market report: Tighter supply raises lamb price

Lamb prices have reversed their seasonal downward trend, rising for the second week running, to 356.7p/kg deadweight for an R3L SQQ grade. That is an increase of 10.6p/kg in the fortnight to 24 July, and puts the market almost 40p/kg above the same time last year.

Liveweight trade also increased for the second week in a row, with the new season SQQ price rising by more than 1p/kg, to 160.6p/kg in the week ended 21 July. That was 19p/kg higher than in 2009. However, despite a reduction in supplies, cull ewe trade eased marginally on the week to average £54 a head.

Sheepmeat exports from the UK in the first five months of 2010 fell by 9%, year-on-year, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. “This decrease can be attributed largely to the reduction in domestic supplies.However, sheepmeat production in the same period was 15% lower, thus a greater proportion of production in the UK has been diverted to the export market.

“With fewer lambs projected to be produced in France and Ireland, demand for UK lamb should remain firm,” the AHDB report said.