The U.S. lamb prices are expected to rebound in 2013 encouraged by stable demand and reduced supplies. This is according to an analysis of the sheep industry that was made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's, Economic Research Service in its Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.
"In 2012, sheep inventory registered a smaller decline than in the previous two years. Despite the drought conditions in most of the sheep-producing areas, the "grow our flock" program by the sheep industry appeared to slow the decline. The National Agriculture Statistics Service's Sheep and Goats report estimated the inventory of all sheep and lamb in the United States on Jan. 1, 2013, as 5.34 million head, down 1 percent and a 30,000-head decline from 2012. Breeding sheep inventory decreased to 3.98 million head on Jan. 1, 2013, down 1 percent from 4.0 million head on Jan. 1, 2012. A 2-percent decline was seen in the 2012 lamb crop and is expected to result in further production declines during 2013, with production at around 152 million pounds. As a result, slaughter lamb prices, which declined significantly in 2012, are expected to show strength in 2013."
The full report is available at www.ers.usda.gov/media/1023120/ldpm224.pdf.