U.S sheep producers are keenly aware of the dramatic drop in lamb prices between the 2011 and 2012 markets. Lower prices, coupled with wide-spread drought and higher grain and hay costs, are making livestock ownership more risky and placing a cost/price squeeze on producers.
Producers in the United States are not alone in the world, however, when it comes to lower lamb prices this year. Data and testimonials from the sheep industries in both Australia and New Zealand confirm that prices for lambs in those countries have also dropped and, interestingly, to about the same degree as in the United States.
Economists and international industry sources place primary blame on the sluggish economies in both Europe and America (the two higher-value lamb markets in the world). Most agree, however, that prices appear to have stabilized and that the outlook over the next several months and into the future is positive.