Looking back over the past 9 months the hogget and lamb prices have held up pretty well, considering that the tonnage of new season lamb was 7.9 % above the 2022 tonnage to the end of August, and the cost of living increases have put a limit on consumer spending.
Although these prices are positive, producers still need to bear in mind two very important points. Firstly, they, like everyone else, have suffered from inflation, and although feed prices have fallen and grass has been abundant, most of their general running cost have risen.
The second point to note is that there have been less lambs to sell. The lamb crop was considerably smaller as a percentage of ewes put to the ram so producers have had some barrens to sell to help with their cash flow which doesn’t alter the fact that profitability per ewe put to the ram will have decreased.
Prices going forward should remain firm with Europe generally short of lamb, and the increase in Australian production finding markets in Eastern Asia.
A massive bone of contention to farmers, and anyone trying to run a business in the countryside, is the poor mobile phone signal in far too many areas. It would appear that the networks, seeing most of their income generated in the more densely populated areas, have simply left parts of the countryside to make do with this totally inadequate service. For farmers, a good mobile phone signal is a vital tool in running their business, and the organizations representing them, such as the NFU and the CLA should be making a lot more noise on this important subject.