Slow supply pushes lamb prices up

A rural banking expert says lamb prices are on the rise, due to slow down in supply.

Head of Livestock for Heartland Bank, Wayne McEntee told Rural Exchange that lamb is commanding good prices.

"The lamb processors are having to pay to flush out the last of the finished lambs, so the lamb markets are slightly up, paying between $7.30 and $7.40," he said.

"Supply is quite slow, so that is getting the processors to open their wallets, which is a good thing for farmers," McEntee said.

He said some farmers are coping with facial eczema and viral pneumonia.

"Both of those are showing up on kill sheets, which is not ideal."

He said the store market has slowed, mainly due to a lack of feed.

"In the regions, where tucker is a bit more plentiful, store lambs are selling for a bit better." 

Meanwhile in the cattle market, he said bulls were still strong at $5.50, and fat steers at $5.45.

The second wave of dairy cows was getting prices of between $3.90 and $4 a kilo.

Store markets are back 5-15 cents a kilo with more grass needed for things to change.

He said recent weather hasn't helped things.

"Easter rain was underwhelming, and it's getting very cold, I'm not expecting too much more there."

He said most buyers are preferring straight beef, rather than dairy beef

"There's a bit more demand for heavier cattle, that are closer to finishing rather than the younger ones."

Rural Exchange Market Update is sponsored by Heartland Bank 

Watch Wayne McEntee's full interview with Rural Exchange.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay and Richard Loe, 6-8am Saturday and Sunday on Magic Talk