Lamb prices gain pace

Lamb sales are struggling compared to 2013, but prices are gathering pace in recent weeks, according to Eblex’s Sheep Weekly.

Sales throughout the year have been down on 2013, and in the 12-week period to 9 November, consumers bought 12% less lamb than in the same period a year earlier, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Eblex said this was due to lower supplies of cheaper New Zealand product. The levy body’s report continued: “The key driver of the latest results was lower purchases of roasting joints, following a strong performance in the autumn period last year.”

However, the Eblex data shows that the liveweight Standard Quality Quotation (SQQ) price in the week ending 10 December was up 9p on the previous week. The organisation said this indicated that demand was performing better, with a degree of seasonality returning to the trade, “something not evident on the run into Christmas for the past couple of years”. It explained that improved demand could have been helped by the weather turning colder.

Eblex added: “The cull ewe market continued its robust performance in the week, with the average price increasing £4 on the week to almost £69 per head. At this level, cull ewes are achieving significantly more than at the same time last year.”

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