Lamb prices fall despite lower numbers

Finished lamb prices took another blow in markets in the week ending 2 August, with an SQQ average of 239.05p/kg liveweight.

This was a drop on the week of almost 24.5p/kg on a throughput of 62,134, which in itself was down by more than 20%.

However, many markets saw improvements in sales early this week, after falls that took £16-£18 a head off values last week on big numbers.

McCartneys reported a very much improved trade at its Ludlow sale on 1 August, due mainly to lower numbers at 1,052 head. 

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Echoing comments from other auctioneers, McCartneys’ Michael Thomas said well-fleshed lambs with weight were most in demand, with standard weights averaging 258.5p/kg, mediums at 266.5p/kg and heavies at 264.4p/kg.

A strengthening pound since 25 July has made things more challenging for exporters, while increasingly cash-strapped consumers are offering growing resistance to high retail prices.


Deadweight centres reported an SQQ average of 574.5p/kg in the week to 30 July, which was down 48p/kg or 8.3%, on the back of a 13% rise in throughput to 35,893 head.

This puts less than 10p/kg between year-ago levels and current prices.

R3Ls made up the bulk of the throughput, averaging 575.7p/kg.