Fitter lambs ensure better returns, says Eblex

Producers are being urged to send lambs to market that are “fit rather than fat” to ensure the best available returns.

Though sheep prices fell last month, Eblex says farmers should focus on selling stock as it reaches the target specification for weight and fatness rather than delaying sales until prices rise again.

“There is evidence of farmers holding on to their lambs too long, waiting for the price to go up, which can create a sudden spike in supply that, of course, affects the prices,” said Eblex sector director Nick Allen.

“It is apparent, though, that those producers who are selling lambs to specification are still getting good returns.”

He said that despite recent falls in the SQQ average, prices are increasing in the export quality market segment. Eblex found that for those animals hitting the hypothetical export specification weight band of 25.5kg to 43kg – the top 25% of animals coming on to market are export quality lambs – the average price was 227.6p/kg in the week ending 26 May, showing a 25p/kg premium over the average.

Eblex said that sheep prices have experienced their annual season dip a couple of weeks earlier this year, which, combined with a fall in global prices and a strengthening pound, have hit producers’ returns.

>Farmers call for stability on lamb prices

>Eblex sends trade mission to Canada