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Lamb demand grows

STRONG demand and limited supply is being credited for lifting lamb prices in the first quarter of 2017, which is good news for the region’s sheep producers.
Continued demand for Australian lamb both domestically and internationally should ensure the outlook for prices remains positive for the rest of the year.
SEJ livestock agent Bill Egan said last Wednesday’s lamb and sheep market at VLE Leongatha saw the top lambs make $160.
“There were around 1000 lambs yarded, with numerous pens making $145 to $150 and lighter and store lambs between $90 and $115,” he said.
“There were very few sheep, but they were probably as dear as we have ever seen them.”
Mr Egan said lambs are attractive high prices and are holding their value, due mainly to a lack of supply right across southern Australia.
“We haven’t seen them making more than what they are making now for years,” he said.
“If they could buy them cheaper somewhere else, they would. It always comes down to supply and demand, always.”
Mr Egan expects lambs to continue fetching high prices until the spring flush comes in August and September.
“Then maybe there will some price correction after that, but in the short term nothing much is going to happen,” he said.
The national trade lamb indicator price averaged 14.5 percent higher in the first quarter of the year compared to the final quarter of 2016, according to Rural Bank and Rural Finance’s April 2017 Australian Sheep Update.
General manager agribusiness for Rural Bank and Rural Finance Andrew Smith said the value of lamb exports continued to rise significantly.
“This is primarily due to a dramatic increase in demand for Australian lamb from the Chinese market. The industry is well placed to record strong gains this year,” he said.
“The exceptional prices recorded in the first quarter of this year have set sheep farmers up for 2017 and with tighter sheep and lamb availability expected to continue throughout the winter, there is nothing to suggest this will change.”
The good news is tempered by the weather outlook for the next quarter, with generally drier and warmer than average conditions forecast through to June.

Day out: Korumburra’s Henry and Anna Stuckey were interested in buying at the sheep sale last Wednesday at VLE Leongatha.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21372

Posted by on May 9 2017. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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