Scots lamb heads south
PRICES for feeding and breeding lambs in Scotland are around 50% and 30% down on the year.
A key indicator was Lanark last week, where 8700 Blackface wedder lambs averaged £16.20 (compared with £34.70 in 1997). The 13,900 ewe lambs made to £74 but averaged just £30 (£52). At Castle Douglas on Monday, 7000 Blackface ewe lambs levelled at £32 (£49).
The second sale of Scotch Mule ewe lambs at Thornhill saw the average tumble to £40 which was down £30 on the year. Those lambs were smaller than last year and will not be bred this season.
A worry surrounds the large numbers of small lambs that still have to come out of the western Highlands and Shetland.
One finisher reckoned by the time shipping and other charges had been deducted, Shetland farmers would be lucky to be left with £3 a lamb. The main sales, in Aberdeen, are at the end of this month. *