Lamb price drops after Islamic festival demand boom

GB new-season lamb (NSL) prices are expected to drop back as demand from the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha falls away.

Lamb prices took a dip in the week ending 18 August as throughputs in GB hit their highest level since September 2017 off the back of the celebration.

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Muslims traditionally sacrifice a lamb during the five-day festival, which runs between 21-25 August this year, splitting it into thirds for friends, family and the poor.

The NSL SQQ price fell by 5.2% on the week to 182.2p/kg – 4% behind a year earlier.

SQQ throughputs hit their 2018 high at 123,166 head, a 41.6% increase on the week, while total sales through markets hit 156,903 head, up 40.6%.

Peak has passed

However, peak buying for the festival hits three weeks before the event and throughputs had begun falling in recent days.  

The latest daily AHDB Beef & Lamb statistics for Monday 20 August saw liveweight prices fall by 5.5p/kg for SQQ animals.

NSL SQQ throughputs fell away by 42.2% compared with the week before and 46% behind its position 12 months ago.

Currently, 20% of UK sheepmeat goes into the halal sector and countries with high Muslim populations are key customers for UK lamb exports as they eat a disproportionately high amount of the red meat.

The most recent deadweight prices for the week ending 11 August showed a small 2.1p increase to 423.6p/kg.