UK store lamb prices have risen £10/head in the last two weeks according to AHDB. Stable market prices during October were replaced by fast-growing store prices in November with lambs averaging £60/head across the UK. This year’s price is around £6/head above the rolling five-year average.

Scottish marts have been averaging £50-£63/head for store sheep through the ring. This is despite suggestions that recent wet weather might put off buyers.

Rebecca Oborne, AHSB analysist, said: “There are several factors which could be driving prices, including lower forage prices, and lower feed prices than this time last year. Grass growth was good through the summer, although fields up and down the country have had more than enough rain in the past weeks, putting many under water.

Poor condition

“Reflecting the biblical volume of rain, some fodder and cover crops are reported to be in poor condition. In contrast, other parts of the country are reporting plentiful supplies of fodder crops. Industry reports suggest that the longer keep types are achieving much lower prices, with strong demand for medium and shorter keep types.

“The run up to Christmas usually brings some seasonal support to finished lamb prices, from both a decline in available numbers and increased demand from continental Europe. This year, the support has been more than noticeable, although it does coincide with the wet conditions that would have slowed lamb finishing times. Strong finished prices are likely to bring optimism to the store lamb market," Oborne said.