Lamb market at record high for the time of year

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After A firm end to 2023, the lamb market has risen further, reaching record levels for the time of year.

This month, hoggs have averaged well above 300p/kg lwt at Scottish marts, and averaged around 315p/kg in the second and third weeks of February. Price rises have also been seen at abattoirs across Great Britain (GB), with the deadweight average for medium R3L grade carcases reaching 696p/kg in the week to February 17.

“Compared to February 2023, when the lamb market had a weak start to the year, prices have been running 35-40% higher at Scottish marts, with the increase on the five-year average closer to 30%,” explained Iain MacDonald, QMS Market Intelligence Manager.

 

“Store markets have also rebalanced substantially higher, with finishers paying an average of £101 for hoggs at Scottish marts in mid-February. This compares with £65 in the same week of 2023.”

Lamb prices have increased despite auction throughput holding up. Between late January and the third week of February, lamb numbers at Scottish Marts were running around 4% above those seen a year earlier.  “This is in line with the increase seen in the season-to-date,” notes Iain. “Given Scottish Government estimates of a 4% smaller lamb crop in 2023, there could be a tightening of availability later in the spring.”

 

Scottish Business News 

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