Morale improves as lamb price climbs again

By FWi staff

LAMB prices have climbed for the second week running at markets, boosting general morale around the auction rings.

Light lambs rose 8.28p to 68.43p/kg at markets throughout England and Wales yesterday (Tuesday), while standard samples soared 10.01p to 73.01p/kg. Heavy lambs also rose climbing 9.26p to 70.14p/kg.

The recent price increases are a reflection that trade is now getting back to normal after the holiday period, said economist Jane Connor of the MLC.

Exports have also improved, following an unsure start to the year and this, combined with an increase in demand, has helped values rally, she said.

“But how long it lasts I will be interested to see,” said Ms Connor.

“There are a lot of lambs still in the pipeline and, at 69p/kg, its still not a very attractive price,” she said.

But there is a definite shortage of lambs coming on to the market, said Alan Venner of Exeter market. And I dont know why, he said: “Perhaps theres not so many about as the MLC thought.”

Many producers are having problems finishing their stock and this could have caused the shortage, he said.

“We all hope that this is the beginning of a brighter period – but it cant be guaranteed.”

“We had a fantastic day at Frome, said Chris Reeks of the Somerset market. With strong demand prices rose 11p/kg on last week averaging 74.06p/kg.

Bad weather in Scotland and other areas of the UK has led to a shortage in hoggets and this has strengthened the market, said Mr Reeks.

“Theres more confidence in the market and morale is gradually picking up,” he said.

This could be the start of a recovery for lamb prices, he hopes: “But Im not holding my breath.”

“It certainly needs to be,” he said.

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