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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly

13 July 2015

AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 13 July 2015AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 13 July 2015

Liveweight lamb prices increase

Liveweight prices at GB auction markets have increased in the past seven days following the tight supplies in previous weeks and more robust demand, partly due to the Muslim festival of Ramadan.

Following three weeks of sharp falls, in week ended 8 July the NSL SQQ increased by over 6p on the week to 163.0p/kg. This left the difference in prices compared to last year at just under 16p, the smallest level since April. Prices were up throughout the week, with the SQQ on Wednesday 8 July up 5p on the week earlier at 162.9p/kg, which meant the year-on-year differential narrowed to just 6p.

Tighter numbers in previous weeks and an increase in demand in the build up to the end of Ramadan next week are reported to have supported prices. The higher prices in the week seem to have encouraged producers to bring more lambs forward, with throughputs at GB auction marts up by 27 per cent on the week earlier. Overall throughputs were one per cent higher than in 2014. However, numbers falling in the SQQ weight band actually fell, possibly suggesting more ‘out of spec’ lambs have come forward.

Despite the increase seen in the liveweight trade, the deadweight price continued to fall sharply. In week ended 4 July the deadweight SQQ fell by almost 37p on the week to average 349.3p/kg, its lowest level at this time of the season since 2010. To some extent, this fall has brought the deadweight trade into line with the live trade, given that it has held up much better in recent weeks. At this price the SQQ is a fraction below the all prime average deadweight cattle price, a situation that has not occurred at this time of the year in recent years. The last time the SQQ was below the average deadweight cattle price was in October 2013, although that was more a reflection of the high cattle prices in the aftermath of the horsegate revelations.

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