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Lamb market expected to start following more 'normal' pattern

The fall in liveweight prices last week could see lamb prices following a more usual pattern for this time of year.


Alex   Black

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Alex   Black
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Lamb market expected to start following more 'normal' pattern #sheep365

Prices have risen sharply in July but liveweight prices have now seen a fall, despite numbers coming to market decreasing 11 per cent on the previous week.


Mark Kozlowski, senior analyst at AHDB, said: "If they are following a more normal pattern at this time of year, you would expect they would fall before starting to stabilise. However, there is no guarantee that is going to happen.


"I would expect deadweight to start falling soon as the prices tend to follow each other."


Liveweight prices fell 12p in the week to July 20 following two weeks of growth to 188.7p/kg, but they remained 38p higher than the same week in 2015.


The deadweight lamb price has continued to rise and recently moved above the five-year average for the first time since mid-March.


While prices are higher than this time last year, Mr Kozlowski pointed out they were not too unusual.


"It is not unheard of for them to be this high," he added.


"They are just a lot higher than it has been for the last year and a half."

 

Currency


Longtown auctioneer Archie Hamilton said the rise could be attributed to the higher exchange rate since the weakening of the pound.


"We have been competing with a high currency and the fall in the pound has been good for exporters," said Mr Hamilton.


"I also do not think there are as many sheep on the ground as people think.


"It is driven by demand. If the pound strengthens or huge numbers come on to the market then we’ll see that fall again."


Mr Kozlowski said the exchange rate was working ’both ways’.


"I am not certain we have exported more but we have exported at a better price. Even if we are exporting the same amount we remain competitive," he said.


"We have not seen a high volume of imports. There has been lower production in New Zealand and imports are more expensive because of the exchange rate."


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