After a sharp reduction in the previous week, British lamb prices have rallied this week.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reports that the new season lamb (NSL) standard quality quotation (SQQ) price averaged £2.44/kg (€2.87/kg) on Thursday evening.

This represents an increase of 18p/kg (21c/kg) on the previous week, while the latest AHDB price report shows the average weekly price earlier in the week up 7p/kg on average on the previous week.

The report highlights numbers tightening and creating more competition in the market.

Weekly throughputs

Weekly throughputs in marts totalled 104,000 head, which was said to be 2% lower on the previous week.

The deadweight lamb price also looks to be regaining some of the ground lost in the last 10 days.

Prices dropped sharply over the last two weeks by 30p/kg to 50p/kg and settled briefly in the region of £5.00/kg (€5.88/kg).

Reports indicate prices are recovering significantly, with prices at the higher end of the market said to be increasing by 10p/kg to 20p/kg.

Closer to home

There seemed to be more of an appetite from factory agents in Ireland and Northern Ireland on Friday.

Base quotes remain unchanged, but sellers handling higher numbers have, in cases, secured an extra 5c/kg and an extra half kilo in carcase weight.

Many plants have moved to 21.5kg carcase weight for groups, but were holding at 21kg carcase weight for individual sellers.

However, those handling higher numbers are now having more success in negotiating it.

Lamb prices

There is a wide differential in lamb prices. At the bottom end of the market, there are small numbers of lambs trading at €6.00/kg.

Sellers with stronger negotiating power or trading through groups are securing returns of €6.10/kg to €6.20/kg, while at the very top end of the market, there are some deals being made at €6.25/kg to €6.30/kg.

Northern Ireland quotes are £4.80/kg, but a high number of lambs are trading at £4.90/kg and sellers with greater negotiating power are pushing for another 5p/kg and returns of £5/kg for Monday.