Lamb production has continued to rise in July with supplies expected to tighten over the coming months.
Better weather in the first half of 2018 has brought lambs to finish more quickly.
The lamb kill was up 6 per cent to 1.09 million-head and cull ewe and ram kill was up further, at 13 per cent, with higher demand particularly in export markets.
Skipton auctioneer Ted Ogden said: “It is nice that sheep are coming forward to slaughter in good time this year.
“That is quite positive for the shortterm outlook. It will hopefully help support the market for the next couple of months.”
The Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha led to a ‘week of two halves’ for liveweight lamb prices this week, according to AHDB.
Before Eid, prices were steady week-on-week before declining sharply afterwards.
During the week ending August 14, prices for GB liveweight new season lambs recorded an overall drop of 8.5p/kg to 177.76p/kg.
Deadweight prices also eased back slightly in the week ending August 10 to 395.2p/kg, although there would have been some support from demand for Qurbani lambs for Eid.
AHDB analyst Rebecca Obourne said commentary from the industry suggested lambs were ‘likely to go short’ in the coming weeks, with mixed reports as to whether lighter or leaner lambs were in demand.
She said: “While industry reports suggest longer term export orders are slow, driven by Brexit uncertainty, current demand for export lambs appears to be there.”
Mr Ogden said increased demand for Eid had been a welcome boost going into autumn, but there was also domestic demand as Love Lamb Week approached and with weaker sterling also helping, Skipton has seen prices rise at the most recent sales.
AHDB said breeding ewe sales had started the season on a strong note. In more recent weeks, ewe lamb prices were reported as being only just higher than store prices, although higher numbers were reported, with strong clearance rates.
It came as beef production fell back 1 per cent year-on-year in July, with cull cow slaughterings down by 12 per cent to 51,000-head and prime kill down 1 per cent to 161,700-head, according to AHDB.
However, the fall in prime cattle slaughterings was offset by increased carcase weights.