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Lamb more expensive ahead of Easter due to tight supply

Published on The Grocer


Commodity prices for lamb have soared ahead of Easter due to tight supply.

Deadweight lamb prices have increased by more than 20% during the past nine weeks, with nine consecutive weekly price hikes, according to Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales.

The SQQ GB average price hit £7.90/kg last week, representing an increase of £1.74 since the first week of 2024, the levy board said.

This figure exceeded the highest price recorded last year of around £7.43/kg last May and was notably higher than historical averages by some 50%, HCC added.

A tightening of supply and seasonal religious festivals, where lamb is traditionally eaten, had contributed to the escalating prices, said Glesni Phillips, HCC’s intelligence, analysis & business insight executive.

“Peak consumption of lamb is usually seen during religious festivals, and this year both Easter and Ramadan occur in March,” she explained.

“These events, coupled with both the UK and Welsh sheep breeding flocks being in decline, mean the supply of lambs coming on to the market at the moment is tight when compared to year-earlier levels and current demand levels.”

But while commodity prices have risen significantly, the retail price picture looks more nuanced.

Of the 45 lamb joint lines available in the traditional big four, Waitrose, Lidl and Aldi today (27 March) and 3 April 2023, just 16 lines have seen a price hike when comparing the run-up to Easter 2023 and 2024, with the vast majority of prices static year on year and only six lines more than 5% more expensive, analysis of Assosia data shows.

It comes as Waitrose this week announced a raft of offers on Easter staples, including up to 1/3 off whole and half legs of British lamb and 25% on selected roasting joints.


Published on The Grocer, 27th March 2024