This survey aims to provide a weekly reference price for deadweight prime sheep on the EUROP classification grid that fall within the SQQ weight band. The prices are collected from a sample of abattoirs across Great Britain.
The AHDB deadweight sheep price series is collected from a voluntary sample of abattoirs in Great Britain. The data is collected weekly and published every Wednesday for the previous week (Sunday to Saturday). Abattoirs submit the price, weight, fat class and conformation of all their prime sheep procured deadweight, regardless of scheme, breed or organic status. The prices shown are in pence per kilogram and represent the average payable for the animal upon delivery to the abattoir, before deductions (eg procurement, transport, insurance, inspection, levy).
Prime sheep are reported as new season lambs (male and female clean sheep from this year’s crop) or old season lambs (male and female clean sheep from last year’s crop) sometimes referred to as hoggs or hoggets. This price series shows old season lambs from 1st January to the third Monday in May and new season lambs thereafter. Lamb prices have had a very mixed week with sharp declines in live markets early on, followed by rises that helped values regain ground. AHDB figures for the week ending 30 June showed the GB liveweight new-season lamb SQQ down 7.19p on the week, to 248.62p/kg, despite an 18% drop in numbers. In Thursday’s markets across GB, the SQQ average recovered to 257.63p/kg, up 23p/kg on a throughput almost a third higher than on the same day last week.
Average deadweight lamb prices for the month of May in Northern Ireland (NI) were up by 131.6p/kg from the same month last year. The figures gathered by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) show that the sheep trade this year in NI remains well ahead of last year, with throughput as well as prices strengthening from 2020. Findings from the LMC show that the average deadweight lamb price in NI during the month of May this year was 625.8p/kg. Whereas during the same month last year, the average deadweight lamb price was 494.2p/kg – which equates to a difference of 131.6p/kg or 26.6%.
This difference equates to about £28 in the value of a 21kg carcass lamb. Furthermore, the LMC reported that the average liveweight lamb price in NI during May of this year increased by over 20% or 98.2p/kg, compared to the same month in 2020. Similarly, over in Great Britain (GB), the average deadweight lamb price for the month of May this year was up 170.9p/kg to 662.3p/kg. When compared, the difference between the NI and GB average deadweight lamb price equates to 36.5p/kg, or £8 in favour of GB. Moreover, lamb prices in the Republic of Ireland also boast a greater differential compared to NI prices for the month of May – of 27.6p/kg or £6 (nearly €7) for a 21kg carcass.