The highs and lows of lamb prices in Wales during 2014

The highs and lows of lamb prices in Wales during 2014

The 12 months of 2014 saw a fluctuating market for lambs in Wales with the expected seasonal variations affecting prices paid to farmers during the year.

It was a promising start, with prices at auction markets well ahead of year earlier levels. This eventually led to averages consistently above 210p/kg during March and April on the back of strong demand.

These improved prices led into the new season lamb period in June, with the Welsh average hovering around 240p/kg at the beginning of the month.

A good lambing season, however, meant that producers were sending their lambs to market earlier than in the previous year. Increased numbers eventually took its toll on the live weight trade at Welsh auction markets with prices falling 20p in the first week of July to 175p/kg.

From July to mid-October, lamb live weight prices were below the levels seen in 2012 and 2013, averaging between 150 and 160p/kg.

Improvements were witnessed by November due to increased demand at home and abroad, with prices reaching around 190p/kg by late December.

HMRC figures revealed that export volumes of sheep-meat from the UK during January to October 2014 had declined by 3.5% compared to the same period in 2013. This was due to the strong pound and weak consumer demand in some European countries.

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