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31 January 2013
English sheep producers are experiencing their biggest losses since 2006 at £26 per animal, latest EBLEX figures have revealed.
Analysis of EBLEX costings data, which provides an update to figures released earlier this month by the NFU, shows that producers are losing an average of £26 for every lamb sold deadweight, due to a combination of low prices and rising costs. Costs of production have spiralled from an average of £68 per lamb in 2007 to an estimated £91 per animal today (an increase of 34%) while the deadweight lamb price has fallen by 25% since January 2012.
EBLEX chairman, John Cross, said: “The industry is experiencing a perfect storm of depressed farmgate prices and increasing costs, creating the worst trading conditions the industry has known for over half a decade.
“There are a number of factors contributing to this situation. Some decline in demand, particularly in Europe, has caused a weakening in worldwide lamb prices. However, of far greater concern is the effect of a significant increase in the quantity of low priced New Zealand lamb imports arriving in the UK.
“If we continue seeing large quantities of cheap imported product on the shelves, the lamb market is unlikely to recover in the way we would usually expect it to.
“It is essential that we operate in a free worldwide market, however everyone must bear in mind their wider responsibility to nurture a more stable trading environment in order to create a sustainable global lamb supply chain.”