Farmers have been told not to expect the “phenomenal trade” for old season lambs achieved last year.
Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ deputy head of livestock, Colin Slessor, said although the market had started the year well, there was unlikely to be a repeat of last year, when prices rose every week through to spring.
“I’m optimistic about the trade as lambs are scarce and I expect prices to continue firming over the next few weeks,” said Mr Slessor.
“But don’t expect prices to reach the dizzy heights of last year, which was a unique situation.”
He said feed prices were up 25% on the year, which was affecting margins, but if the open weather continued finishers might get away with lower concentrate costs.
Moving the sale of cast ewes at Thainstone, Inverurie, from Friday to Thursday, when they are sold immediately after the prime lamb sale, works well for both buyers and sellers, added Mr Slessor.
He said trade for in-lamb ewes is expected to be good, and store lambs were meeting a strong demand.