Recent industry commentary for the sheep industry has largely been focused around the ‘flying’ demand for store lambs and cull ewes. Industry sentiment from farmers appears to be largely optimistic, although prices remain at or around the five-year average.
Finished prices, especially in the past six weeks, have remained around the average for the time of year. Cull prices, had been marginally down on the five-year average, but have held their price since the end of June at a time when prices normally start to fall, and as a result are currently above the average and are well up on the previous year’s level. Store prices have been marginally above average, and last year.
Throughputs of store lambs sold at England and Wales auction markets are well up on the year, with average prices also slightly up. Reports suggest all keep lengths are attracting demand. Currently, the GB average NSL store lamb price is trending around £56/head mark.
The optimistic comments are particularly reflected in store lamb prices. With the end of October now three months away any long keep store lambs will be sold post-Brexit.
Finished prices are normally much more predictable during September and October than earlier in the year. However, this year could be the exception with key announcements around the future cost of doing business with the EU potentially being made, i.e. will there be tariffs?