Liveweight lamb prices ease

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In the week ending 4 May, liveweight sheep prices lost some ground gained in previous weeks, with nearly all grades losing value apart from heavier spring lambs.

The OSL SQQ averaged 271.1p/kg, down nearly 8p from the previous week, while the NSL SQQ lost nearly 6p to average 330.3p/kg.

The price drop potentially reflects the end of Ramadan at the weekend, with most buying being done before the latest week.

An estimated 104,000 lambs (both OSL and NSL) were sold through GB marts during the shorter bank holiday week, down 22% from the previous longer week, but 4% higher than the same week a year ago.

About now, we will begin to see OSL numbers fall away and replaced by new season stock. 18% of throughputs in the week ending 4 May were new season lambs.

In the deadweight market, prices rose during the week ending 30 April. The GB OSL SQQ averaged 605.9p/kg, up 8p from the week before. The NSL SQQ averaged 655.0p/kg, up nearly 7p.

Estimated slaughter of clean sheep stood at 216,300 head, up 10% from the previous week (which included Easter Monday).


by Hannah Clarke /AHDB

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