Retailer lambs again £5 a head after dry summer time


Soaring numbers of retailer lambs have pressured costs in current weeks, pushing the nationwide common all the way down to £69.12, greater than £5 again on the yr.

Farms and sale yards have finished their utmost to handle provides of lambs to keep away from a glut and a worth crash. Late silage cuts and gradual forage crops have delayed purchaser curiosity.

See additionally: Eyes on early retailer lambs after competition bonanza

A gentle and moist autumn has eased fears, however some marts are reporting that enormous consumers, who would usually take 10,000 or extra, have been absent.

Early gross sales noticed throughputs again on the yr in July and August, however September numbers have been 16% larger, in accordance with Defra’s lowland retailer sheep figures.

The seven weeks to 22 October noticed 669,370 offered, which is 10% extra on the yr.

Some longer-term lambs might be fed for slaughter in March to satisfy an anticipated demand surge in April for Easter Sunday (9 April) and the tip of Ramadan (21-22 April).

Grass points 

Many consumers have been delayed a month by dry situations, stated Ted Ogden of Craven Cattle Marts at Skipton.

Speaking forward of Wednesday’s sale, he stated about 10,000-head have been anticipated, which was an enormous entry for a November sale.

He stated the shorter-term lambs had remained “good to promote”, with the sturdy premium lambs at £100-£130 a head.

“Medium to long-keep lambs have been more difficult,” stated Mr Ogden. “There has been much less grazing out there, and a few people have been fearful about cowl crops and turnip crop dimension. But there are extra consumers about now.”

Buyers had been delayed by a month in lots of circumstances, he added.

Flesh is missing

Large numbers of lambs might be carried over into 2023 due to challenges in 2022, when many farmers had been hampered by drought and excessive creep costs.

This is in accordance with Jack Walton, lamb and cull ewe auctioneer at Hexham and Northern Marts, who confused the shop lamb worth has held up remarkably nicely given the drop within the prime ring.

“On a Friday sale among the retailer lambs go to kill in a standard yr, however there’s been none of that this yr,” stated Mr Walton, including that the alternative had occurred – some lambs offered within the prime ring had gone for additional ending.

Some consumers, significantly these within the south, had not purchased any retailer lambs but, he added.

The numbers

  • 223p/kg Average worth of heavy (45.6-52kg) lambs final week, solely 2.8p/kg behind medium lambs (39.1-45.5kg) (AHDB)
  • £36 How less expensive a 22kg Great British lamb carcass (£5.18/kg deadweight) was in contrast with a French equal (£6.83/kg) within the week ending 22 October (Bord Bia)
  • -28p How far again on the yr final week’s nationwide SQQ was, at 222p/kg (AHDB)