Meat & Livestock News

Lamb Market Update: Steady Prices Amid Fluctuating Supply


The lamb market in Great Britain has shown resilience, with both store and finished lamb prices holding firm. Despite some fluctuations in supply and demand, the market remains relatively stable compared to last year’s figures.

Finished Lamb Prices

The average price for new season lambs in Great Britain, measured by the Standard Quality Quotation (SQQ), was 251.1p/kg in September. This is a slight decrease from August but still higher than the same period last year.

The month ended with the SQQ at 250.8p/kg, up by 23p compared to September 2022. Average weekly throughput in GB auction markets for September was 104,500 head, an increase of over 2,000 head per week from August. 

Cull ewe prices also experienced a decline, falling by £8.30 per head to £74.70, although they remain slightly elevated compared to last year.

Deadweight Prices

The deadweight SQQ for September started and ended the month at an average of 549.7p/kg. Despite a minor dip in the second week, the prices rose to 553.1p in the third week. The monthly average was just under 550p/kg, marking an increase of over 25p from last year but a decline of 20p from August.

The average weekly kill for September was estimated at just under 230,000 head, up 2.5% from the same period in 2022.

Store Lamb Prices

Store lamb prices have seen a steady increase throughout September, averaging £78.92 per head for the week ending 30 September. This represents a weekly growth of £2-4 throughout the month. In contrast, prices last year were around £70 per head.

The market has been influenced by a wet summer, which has reduced dry matter intakes and made it more challenging to finish lambs. As a result, fewer stores have come forward, supporting the store trade despite higher prices.

Market Factors and Future Outlook

Forage and fodder availability are key factors to watch in the coming months. The market trends suggest that margins will be closely scrutinised throughout the store buying period, especially given the persistent demand despite higher prices.