Lambs at the Masterton Saleyards. PHOTO/ELI HILL


Lamb prices were high but didn’t reach November’s record levels at Masterton Saleyards on Wednesday.

PGG Wrightson Wairarapa area livestock manager Steve Wilkinson said the top price of $142 went to a “particularly good” line of blackface lambs.

“It was a good day; the lamb market is certainly getting a bit more difficult at the moment, but we had a good day down there.”

About 4000 lambs were sold, with most of them coming from hill country farmers to the east of Masterton.

Buyers were local and from Manawatu and Dannevirke.

Last month, the highest price was set at $174 for a line of 323 Romney cryptorchid lambs.

“Look, we’ve certainly come back off those higher prices in mid-November as the lambs come on stream and land gets a bit dry out there the prices come back a bit,” Wilkinson said.

“There’s not the buyers we had out there that we had earlier, and a lot more lambs.”

Lamb prices have increased dramatically since 2016.

Figures from Beef and Lamb New Zealand show them rising from about $90 per head [all grades] in 2016 to $130 last year.