Tight supply pushes up lamb prices

27 Aug, 2009 02:00 AM

LAMB prices hit record highs once again last week, with prices for trade and heavy lambs up 208 cents compared to the same time last year, reaching 590c/kg and 600c/kg carcase weight.

Sheep and lamb numbers both remain tight, and the spring flush is not expected to really kick in until at least the second week of September.

Two of the major processors are still closed and several others not operating at their full capacity and according to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), limited availability of sheep and lambs will continue to drive strong demand and competition from the processing sector.

Ewe numbers have also remained unseasonably low and MLA reports that low numbers are a result of recent wet weather impacting the ability for producers to shear, with most at least 10 days behind schedule.

Subsequently, a Landmark special ewe sale at Merredin next week is expected to generate a lot of interest and processors and live exporters were expected to attend the sale.

There has also been speculation that buyers from the eastern states may be in attendance.

There are concerns that if processors and live exporters do attend and bid for the ewes on offer, it may push values to a point where producers are priced out of the market.

Read full story in this week's Farm Weekly.


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