Deadweight lamb prices are under pressure, dropping for a second consecutive week to put them 43p/kg below the same week last year.
The GB SQQ for the week ending 26 February averaged 570.9p/kg, a decrease of 15.1p/kg on the previous week, according to the AHDB.
Throughputs for the deadweight SQQ totalled 31,682 head – up 2,247 head (8%) on the previous week, but down 3,143 head (-9%) on the same week last year.
See also: Why lamb losses are half the industry average on Scots farm
Rebecca Wright, AHDB senior analyst, said: “We have had a slightly larger carryover of lambs than we had last year, so there is just a little bit more supply available this year, which is putting pressure on lamb prices.”
Ms Wright said the price is still underpinned by reasonable demand and the lack of New Zealand product coming to the UK.
“New Zealand is still looking largely towards Asian markets at the moment and have less product available to send. Freight prices are also very high, which makes New Zealand sending large quantities to the UK quite uncompetitive.”
Industry reports suggest demand remains for lighter lambs, but that it is harder to find a market for heavier lambs.
As April approaches, demand for both lambs and cull ewes could be supported in the run-up to Easter and the Ramadan festival from 2 April to 1 May.
The GB liveweight SQQ for old-season lambs averaged 263.93p/kg for the week ending 1 March, up 0.5p/kg on the previous week. Total lamb throughputs were 109,421 head, up 20,895 head (24%) on the previous week.
Trade has been reported as relatively subdued at many markets across the UK in recent weeks, with increased supply fulfilling demand.
At Skipton market on 28 February, the SQQ averaged 264.8p/kg, while lambs over 52kg averaged 236.6p/kg.
There was reportedly a good trade for well-finished, lightweight lambs at the market, with those weighing in the region of 35kg often making from 280p/kg to 320p/kg, depending on quality.
New-season lambs are beginning to appear at auction markets, although they remain a small percentage of total throughputs, with 385 sold in the week ended 1 March.