MOST SCOTTISH farmers are only now in the throws of lambing, but while they desperately strive to keep mortality rates to a minimum, a growing number of ewes and lambs and indeed finished new season lambs are being sold on the open market at a level similar to or higher than last year.
FOLLOWING A significant decline in participating processors in the Deadweight Average Pig Price (DAPP), the Bpex board has launched a new historical pig price report, called the GB All Pigs Price (GB APP).
PRIME HOGG prices are continuing to slowly edge upwards through both live auction sales and abattoirs and, despite threatening to level off, producers should remain confident about the coming weeks leading up to Easter.
AT LONG last, beef prices appear to have stabilised following almost four months in decline - during which average deadweight cattle values dropped 50p per deadweight kg - with both QMS and Eblex now highlighting some positive news for producers.
DESPITE CONTINUED falling pig prices, GB values remain some 7p per kg ahead of the same week last year, and significantly higher than European prices, due to the recent pressure on the market as a result of the Russian import ban on EU product following the outbreak of swine fever in Poland.
STRONG EXPORT demand and the on-going tight supply situation has bolstered old season lamb prices to their highest level since July 2013, with the GB SQQ for the week ending some 6p higher on the previous seven days and more than 11p higher year on year at 197.0p per kg.
CULL COW prices have improved for the second week on the trot, with figures for the end of February showing average prices in Scotland have risen more than 6p per deadweight kg on the week, to level at 238.3p, while the GB average rose to 225.5p - its highest of the year.
AVERAGE FARM business incomes for specialist pig farms are set to almost double on the year, from £41,000 to nearer £78,000 for the year 2013/14, due to higher finished pig prices and improved productivity and rising weaner prices.