US imported lamb prices continue to rise

25 June 2018

Prices for Australian lamb remain high in the US, as end users continue to face intense competition from other markets for imported product.

Increased US domestic slaughter combined with high retail prices has resulted in lower retail features and a rise in cold storage stocks of US lamb. Domestic lamb prices have felt the effect of the supply increase and trended lower as a result. Conversely, imported prices continue to rise in the face of heightened international competition for sheepmeat.

Market highlights for the June 2018 update:

  • Memorial Day holiday lamb features were 25% lower than a year ago, with lower prices for competing proteins affecting retail traction. Average retail lamb prices are significantly higher than a year ago, in contrast wholesale prices have fallen year-on-year.
  • Lamb imports from Australia remain below year-ago levels, however, import volumes have increased significantly in recent weeks. In the four weeks ending June 9, lamb imports from Australia were up 21% year-on-year.
  • The increase comes at a time when domestic slaughter is running above year ago levels, and excess production is being moved into cold storage. According to Steiner Consulting Group, the shift in the supply situation could result in easing prices for imported lamb later in the year.

Click here to read the latest monthly US Lamb Market Update

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