Lambs Enjoying an Indian Summer
Lamb prices have kicked on over March, following surprising February gains. Prices continue to widen the gap compared to this time last season. The per kg price for a 17.5kg lamb currently sits 19% higher than a year ago.
Driving prices higher are very low slaughter rates. Farmers are holding on to stock as feed is plentiful. This is particularly evident in places like the Hawkes Bay as this time last year feed was scarce and farmers de-stocked.
A lift in demand could support higher lamb prices for longer. In that regard, there has been some good news following the announcement this month of Chinese approval for chilled lamb exports. Similarly, the earlier lifting of Iranian trade sanctions and eventual re-commencement of lamb exports is likely to give lamb demand and export prices a further boost.
For now, though, tight supply is driving prices higher. Time will tell whether demand will join the party and help sustain the current surge in prices.