Prices tumble £15-£20 as lambs flood forward 

A deadweight advantage of £10-£15 a lamb could be eroded this week as lamb supply ramps up and processors make big price cuts.

Exporters have paid £5.80/kg deadweight for lambs this week, while some retail contracts have dropped prices below £5.50/kg. This equates to a drop of about £1/kg over two weeks.

Meanwhile, some live rings have seen numbers lift 30-50%, taking 38-50p/kg off averages.

Ayr, Carlisle, Ludlow, St Boswells and Welshpool all saw lamb numbers lift sharply and trade slip back to 253-274p/kg on Monday (21 June).

See also: Lamb prices ease back as new season supplies grow

Ross

Will Probert at RG and RB Williams said downward pressure had now been felt across all types of spring lambs at Ross-on-Wye.

The top-end Beltex lambs with lots of shape held value (380-420p/kg) well into June, he said, but slumped to the 300p/kg mark this week (21 June).

Ross saw 2,213 new-season lambs average 268p/kg (£110 a head) and top at 302p/kg (£151 a head) on Monday (21 June). The average was back 49p/kg and £16 a head on the week.

“A lot of those Beltex lambs went north to be exported to Europe and they were selling for about £1/kg more than the more typical commercial lambs,” Mr Probert told Farmers Weekly. “This is the first week the best lambs have noticeably dropped here.”

He said farmers had done well feeding and putting weight onto lambs, but those who were selling lambs below 37-38kg had missed out on 10-20p/kg.

Many vendors would remain hopeful the price would track at about 220-240p/kg for the summer, he added.

Darlington

Trade dropped at Darlington from 320p/kg for 1,022 lambs on 10 June to 285p/kg for 1,720 head on 17 June.

Darlington Farmers Auction Mart fieldsman Stephen Dodsworth said the Qurbani festival during Eid Al-Adha (19-23 July) should spur demand over the next four weeks.

He said last week’s (17 June) entry was, on the whole, a moderate and light show of lambs, but Islamic demand would reward 42-45kg lambs.

He predicted that the 8 July auction could be the better week for festival demand, given its timing this year, but stressed that butcher margins were very tight on lambs.

“Yes, prices have dropped sharply, but there were 563 more lambs sold than a year ago. A Mule with two 34kg-plus lambs has brought in £200 for 12 weeks’ work – not a bad return.”

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