Sheep trade: GB mirrors Irish story as prices fall and supplies tighten

The deadweight sheep trade in Great Britain (GB) is witnessing a similar one to Ireland, as prices fall and supplies tighten further.

According to the Agriculture and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), prices for both OSL (old season lamb/hoggets) and spring lambs have eased this past week.

Despite prices easing, overall, the sheep trade remains strong, with the AHDB noting that GB deadweight prices have exceeded both French and German numbers in recent weeks.

GB deadweight prices

For the week ending April 24, the GB deadweight OSL standard quality quotation (SQQ) eased by 5.3p/kg on the week before, to average 674p/kg (or €7.75/kg equivalent).

New season lamb (spring lambs) also saw a fall in prices, with the SQQ falling 7.1p/kg on the previous week, to 686.6p/kg (or €7.89/kg equivalent) .

Supplies also tightened, with estimated throughput down 4,000 head (-3%) on the previous week, to 153,900 head.

Live sheep trade

Similarly, the liveweight trade for old season lamb fell last week once again, according to the AHDB.

The GB OSL SQQ fell 12.43p, to average 289.82p/kg (or 333c/kg equivalent). However despite this, the trade remains strong, with prices up 80.12p/kg on the same week in 2020.

Numbers at sales in Britain also declined for the second week running – down 6% (or 5,300 head) and totalled 90,000 head, the AHDB noted.

One positive is the increase in prices for spring lambs this past week. The GB NSL SQQ lifted 9.34p/kg, to average 347.60p/kg (or nearly €4.00/kg).

The AHDB noted that spring lambs made up 21% of the total throughput seen at sales this past week.