Lamb prices crash as supply chain succumbs to coronavirus pressure

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Livestock auctions have reported a 36 per cent drop in lamb price on the week after recent periods of high throughput and strong trade, with Covid-19 weighing on the supply chain.

Cancellation of EU orders and the realignment of the food service sector, which has seen more produce destined for retail has seen buyers reporting struggles to source outlets which has resulted in reduced numbers.

Speculation around border closures were also ongoing, with lorries on the continent rumoured to be unable to unload goods to destinations and hauliers reluctant to travel due to backlogs.

Across the UK, auction marts, such as Hexham and Hawick, have cancelled upcoming sheep sales this week to negate the situation.

Branding Monday’s (March 23) sheep sale as a ‘nightmare’, Sedgemoor auctioneer, Paul Ashton, said trading was difficult with new vendor restrictions and fewer buyers on site.

He said: “Recent weeks have seen more lambs flooding the market, but the demand has gone due to the virus, and the market has subsequently collapsed.”

“There was also a significant £40-45 price drop for hoggs and sheep with lambs at foot.”


Hannah Binns


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