Sheep liveweight nearing 100p/kg

By Farmers Weekly staff

SHEEP prices continue to rise, with liveweight averages moving towards the 100p/kg mark early this week.

At auctions in England and Wales, the average was 96p/kg on Monday – up 8p/kg on the week.

Richard Morris, auctioneer at Penrith, Cumbria, says it reflects falling numbers. “We think supplies are a lot shorter than the MLC do.”

Many farmers, faced with store prices of £12 to £15, chose to keep rather than sell sheep late last autumn, he says. “Up to now, that looked like the wrong decision. They covered the feed cost but didnt look like leaving room for much profit. At current levels, however, it could be worth it.”

At Penrith on Monday, for example, some 44kg Swaledales were making £42-plus.

And averages will now top 100p/kg, says Mr Morris. “But I dont think there is much possible upside over that mark. What happens them will be purely determined by numbers. I think numbers will be consistently below this time last year until new-season lambs arrive. People will push these forward, frightened of prices slumping to last years pathetic levels.”

Brian Pile, an auctioneer at Northampton, also thinks trade will soon top 100p/kg. “Its a nice price to be at or above. It will make things seem a lot better.”

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