Make the most of good lamb prices

19 February 1999

Make the most of good lamb prices

LAMB finishers should take advantage of recent price rises, as supplies might be tightening causing a similar price profile to the first quarter of last year.

MLC economist Lesley Green says various issues are causing the price revival. "Pig and cattle prices have eased, so the whole meat market appears to be lifting. Also large numbers of lambs were shifted in the last quarter of last year."

But SAC economist Stuart Ashworth believes increased prices could be evidence of supermarket loyalty to British lamb.

Buyer Juliet Davies of Hants based processor &#42 M Bennett says lack of supply and greater demand for British quality lambs is the reason prices have risen. "Supermarkets have cut New Zealand contracts and are struggling to meet demand for 17-21kg quality lambs with British supplies."

Higher British prices will make New Zealand lamb more competitive and so supermarkets might be tempted to increase imports again, she says.

"But now the price has picked up finishers should see a margin in feeding lambs. But these will take a few weeks to arrive in abattoirs."

Mrs Davies thinks there is just enough lamb on farms to supply needs, but not the huge surplus the MLC has predicted, so prices will remain firm at current levels. &#42

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