We've taken a look at the store lamb prices over the last few years and noticed some interesting trends...
As you can see from the chart above 📈, there has been a steady increase in pricing - between 15-20% year-on-year growth since 2019. With store lambs achieving 40% more in 2021 then they did in 2019.
The gain in price is also pretty consistent through the key selling months, despite some the fact that trading volume can vary hugely, with September selling x100 more lambs than in June.
So, the million guinea (as we're talking sheep) question is... what will we see in 2022 🤔?
Well prediction is a tricky thing; as the common saying goes, "Past performance is no guarantee of future results", however, the trends above are hard to ignore. Given the current global uncertainty surrounding food prices, availability and steadily increasing inflation, it is reasonable to assume prices for store lamb will reach new records in 2022. However, this year has seen an early spike in trading volume, with 30% more lambs sold than in May and June compared to the average. The recent heatwave will also have an impact, with grass being short on the ground (pun intended), the desire to move-off lambs will be strong, as will concerns around the ongoing keep costs while we wait for the grass to return. All of which will play a part in influencing market prices.
One thing we know for sure, with so much turmoil in the UK and around the word, 2022 is far from an ordinary year.
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[The raw data used for this analysis was from DEFRA's statical data set for "Livestock prices, finished and store", which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/livestock-prices-finished-and-store.]