Fat Lamb Prices

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Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Duane » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:50 pm

Called local fat lamb buyer 6-15-12 he was at $130 for 115-150#. Called today he was at $120. Said feedlot in Colorado took load of fats to Texas 200-250# brought $48- $50. Doesn't see it getting better anytime soon. Could take months!
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Bill Fosher » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:44 pm

This came later than I thought it would, but it has been predicted since sometime in January by folks much smarter than me.
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Darroll Grant » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:24 pm

I wonder where those lambs went in Texas as if I recall correctly the last big plant closed several years back? Mutton brings more than that out here. Who paid the freight? Maybe the chaps harvesting mutton for export to Mexico took them.
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Bill Fosher » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:04 am

I'd maintain that a 200 to 250 pound "lamb" is, in fact, mutton.
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby DonDrewry » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:17 am

Bill Fosher wrote:I'd maintain that a 200 to 250 pound "lamb" is, in fact, mutton.


Bill, I think you're right on regarding it's now mutton. While there are lambs that can get to those weights out of the big frame genetics, that vast majority of genetics in the country that end up in a feedlot has to be a year plus to break 200 lbs. I still struggle with the business skills of anyone feeding lambs to those weights thinking the markets going to compensate them but if they're out there, then it must be happening.

We sold a few sheep to slaughter last week. A 12 month old ewe lamb I'd just weaned a lamb off of that brought $137/lb. 16 month old ewe that didn't lamb that I decided didn't make the cut to breed this year got $120/lb. Both were top in the sellers that day in their category, not nearly as fun or profitable to be selling slaughter sheep as a year ago. Rest we sold were older cull ewes that brought even less.
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby jpa » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:41 am

We sold eleven lambs a few days ago through a lamb pool. 126# average at $1.40. $2 was nice last year! :D

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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Island Shepherd » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:01 pm

I had a lady call this morning with an unpronounceable name on the caller ID, and an exotic accent. She was looking for 6-12 month old "lambs" or adult sheep up to 2 y/o to buy for slaughter . I didn't have anything to sell her so I didn't ask a lot of questions. Hard telling, but maybe there is a holiday of some sort besides Independence Day coming up?
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Bill Fosher » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:40 pm

Ramadan starts about July 19 and ends Aug. 18 -- actual dates will vary depending on local sighting of the moon.
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Duane » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:48 pm

So does a person keep feeding them hard or back them down and hope for better prices later?
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Sugar Creek » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:39 am

Duane, I am asking the same question to myself. I sold a pen of 107 pound really nice fat lambs for $113 a couple of weeks ago at auction. I have about 40 lambs still on the ewes averaging 50 to 60 pounds (some maybe a little more).
It is bone dry here and it has been over 100 degrees for five consecutive days, the worst heat wave in Kentucky since 1936. I am feeding about a pound and a half a day to each ewe family of 15% grain mixture ($260 a ton).
I have 2 acres of Korean Lespedeza and an acre of Sudan grass hybrid I have yet to graze but is is so curled up from the drought and the ground is so hard I have yet to fence it with electric fence so i can graze it. I am also a little afraid of the Sudan-Sorghum hybrid grass due to its growth under drought conditions.
With grain prices fixing to rise, I hope a little rain comes and with turning them on the new graze they may be marketable in mid-August for the Ramadan market, but who knows?
I have thought of weaning them and putting them in a barn on full feed, thus giving the ewes a rest. High grain prices, scarce hay supplies, and hot humid weather have kept me from this option to this point.
I guess you just take your chances with the way the cards fall. This is not the scenario I had in mind when breeding the ewes last fall.
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Bill Fosher » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:44 am

I've got plenty of pasture and I'm looking for lambs to feed. Financing would have to be creative -- raising lambs on shares or such.
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Sugar Creek » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:01 am

Bill,
It is a long way from Kentucky to New Hampshire but at the last sale i saw several pens of 70 to 80 pound lambs (maybe a little thin but nice lambs) sell for around a dollar a pound. I have known some buyers who routinely bought lambs here in past years to resell at New Holland. I have not seen them at the auction this year.
My experience has been when demand is good our lambs bring close to New Holland prices, certainly close enough it would not pay to haul them. When demand goes slack and we are a buyer or two short, they sell really cheap in comparison and an opportunity would exist for one with the option to haul them. I do not have enough lambs left to really consider this for this year.
I like the old saying. "It is an ill wind indeed that blows no good" for it helps my mood at times. In some cases it is hard to find that good though.
Fred
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Shltz4 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:56 pm

Has anyone read anything or have an educated guess on where the bottom in these prices may lie at?
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby Sugar Creek » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:46 am

Sort of surprising this topic is having so little activity. The question of "where the bottom is" has to be on everyone's mind.
I have no inside information but do watch our local market and read market reports on the internet. What is different is the lack of premium for lightweight lambs as compared to the last few years. It also seems we have far fewer ethnic buyers actively bidding than in the past, at least on our local market.
The lack of premium for lighter weights is also becoming evident in the cattle markets, along with a steep drop in prices for all classes. This seems to be a case of the price getting too high combined with a drastic rise in corn prices. Pasture conditions are also in very poor shape. The low numbers of the national cow and ewe herds and flocks should be supporting higher prices but are not. I hear talk that the cattle industry, like the sheep industry, is fearful of losing infrastructure and overall viability.
Why does the government not consider lowering the ethnanol mandate for gasoline? With over 40% of the corn crop being used for ethanol and the prospects for a bad crop, corn is being priced out of reach as livestock feed.
Another thing I notice is that the price of pound cows and bulls has not dropped as much as the price of younger stock and fed cattle. The same seems to be occuring with sheep as ewe prices have held better than lamb prices.
With this economy are people just eating a little lower on the hog?
Fred
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Re: Fat Lamb Prices

Postby CMyrah » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:20 pm

Just posted the following on another thread, but might be more appropriate here:

Just talked to a local lamb buyer here in SE MN. He's paying $.95 for feeders (anything less than 100 lbs) and he's paying $1.20 for fat lambs. He said he was just in CO and visited 1 feedlot that had 60,000 lambs over 200 lbs. He said the last lamb that went through Superior weighed 258 lbs. He said "what was supposed to be 3-5 years of good lamb prices the big boys were able to ruin in 8 months". I can't imagine that a 200+ lb lamb will do the American lamb industry any good when it comes to quality, taste and repeat customers.
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