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US Lamb Glut to Supply Food Banks, Federal Programmes

02 July 2015

US – A 640,000 pound government lamb meat purchase has been announced after a glut of lamb has forced US lamb prices to uncomfortable levels.

Record volumes of cold storage lamb and “huge volumes” of imported lamb have prompted the US Department of Agriculture into making a $10 million bid for leg roast, bone-in and boneless lamb.

Meat is destined for federal food nutrition assistance programmes, including food banks.

This is according to the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), which said the move was justified by declining lamb auction prices running $20 per hundred weight below year ago levels.

Burton Pfliger, North Dakota sheep producer and ASI President, said: “Lacklustre market-lamb prices and the inability to stay current with fed-lambs has plagued the market since last winter so, the Section 32 assistance from AMS is very welcome.”

The ASI said imports from Australia alone were up four per cent during the first quarter of 2015.

Cold storage reports showed a 40 per cent lift in lamb and mutton volumes, taking stocks to 36.8 million pounds, nearly double the level of 2008, the ASI added.

Mr Pfliger said the ASI had discussed the USDA commodity purchase programme option with “key lamb-processing companies”.

He said they were “fully supportive of the request but strongly encourage that all expediency be undertaken due to the back-up of slaughter lambs in the feeding system.”

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms.

Top image via Shutterstock

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