Prolonged wet weather is starting to impact on the store and hogget trade.
The normal yearly rise in store lamb throughput in marts has been very evident over the last week with mart managers reporting a sharp increase in numbers on offer.
Store lamb prices are running on average about €10-€15 per head lower than last year's levels.
Short keep lowland store lambs are selling from €1.80-€2.20/kg of from €30-€40 over the weight for lambs weighing 35kg plus.
Crossbred or hill lambs are selling from €1.20-€1.70/kg or from €10-€25 over.
The trade is being heavily influenced by grass supplies with grass growth rates well behind normal yearly levels.
This is in stark contrast to this time last year where grass growth had seen huge reserves develop on farms.
Cattle prices were also at a level that saw many beef farmers purchase lambs instead of more expensive stores.
The absence of these buyers in the market place is also contributing to lower competition at present.
Grass supplies are also impacting on the hogget trade with some flock owners hoping for a boost in grass growth before purchasing replacements.
Higher numbers of replacements retained on farms in 2011 is also reported to be lessening demand for hoggets at present.
Prices are running €30-€50 per head lower than last year with good quality hoggets selling mainly from €140-€175 per head. Lower quality hoggets or crossbred and mountain types are selling back to €115 per head.
On the bright side, demand for finished lambs remains positive.
Factory prices range from €4.80-€4.90/kg with some sellers negotiating prices up to €5/kg. prices in the mart range from €46-€56 over with tight supplies of finished lambs coming on offer.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
Back to News Headlines