U.S. Sheep Ranchers Poised to Expand
January 17, 2014

American sheep ranchers appear poised to modestly expand their herds, enticed by favorable weather and improved grazing throughout much of the nation in 2013. Strong prices are helping, too--$160-$180/cwt. for a range of lamb weights in major markets, for example. Such prices are up sharply from a year ago, and they are likely to stay strong because imports from New Zealand and Australia, which supply more than half of the U.S. lamb meat, are expected to slip a little this year. Also, the recently slow slaughter pace suggests this month's U.S. Department of Agriculture sheep inventory will show more ewes than a year ago, pointing to an uptick in lamb births for 2014. 
 
Reprinted from Kiplinger Ag Letter