Lamb prices remain high

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Lamb prices in Atlantic Canada have remained high well into the production year. As of Aug. 25, the price offered by Nova Scotia’s Northumberlamb (Northumberland Lamb Marketing Co-op Ltd.), was $10.50/kg ($4.77/lb). This compares to $9.25/kg ($4.20/lb) paid on Aug. 15 under the single desk selling program in Quebec.

Michael Isenor, Northumberlamb’s general manager, credits Sobeys’ commitment to buying local for increasing the demand for lamb. He believes higher prices mean less incentive for producers to ship to central Canada. “Our prices compare well with Ontario lamb, especially after accounting for shrink, trucking, and commissions.”

“Typically you’d see prices fall by this time of the year,” adds Jonathan Wort, Perennia sheep specialist and retired sheep farmer. “Michael has been able to match or pay more than the Quebec heavy lamb prices. That’s quite an achievement.” According to Wort, there is still unfulfilled demand for lamb in the region.

Isenor feels that with plenty of lamb becoming available in September, the Co-op’s price will drop slightly this fall. “Prices have been a little too high to cover costs. “Going forward, the sheep industry looks like a good opportunity. Prices should be stable. There were more lambs available locally this year than last, and we are open to new producers looking to raise lambs to Northumberlamb’s weight and grade specifications.”

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