Prime lamb producers would not be surprised to be informed numbers of heavy lambs have been in short supply and the outlook to the end of winter indicates that situation will continue; but the prices paid for all types have been extraordinary.
Angus Brown, Mercado Analysis advised although we are only three and a half months into the year, price records have been broken as processors compete to fill their orders.
"With tighter lamb supply, and rainfall encouraging restockers, February lamb slaughter defied the usual trend and was at it's lowest level since 2012," Mr Brown wrote referring to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) lamb slaughter figures for February.
"Lower lamb supply might be here to stay until new season lambs come on to the market, and that is supporting values at historically strong levels.
"Winter supplies are also likely to be tight, but we can expect lambs to hit the market when they are ready."
Those comments do not surprise Greg Anderson, director M.D and J.J Anderson, Crookwell who is cautious about the state of the lamb market through to spring.
"I think heavy lambs will be in short supply through winter but I reasonably expect a lot of new season lambs in spring," he said.
"With a good autumn around here the ewes should have joined well so our lambing percentages should be better this year on the southern tablelands."
Mr Anderson noted a definite shortage of store lambs as restockers scramble to fill their paddocks.
"They are nearly paying as much for a store lamb as for those which are 15 - 20kg heavier," he said.
"It is a tight squeeze at the moment but could get even tighter by the end of winter if export markets expand."
Phil Butt, director Butt Livestock and Property, Yass said the domestic market tracks closely with the export market and with current export markets having uncertainty due to COVID-19 in the countries which import our lamb it is hard to predict where the domestic lamb price may reach.
"Even though historically our lamb numbers for the winter period will be low, if America one of our largest importers of lamb recovers and open up trading earlier than we currently suspect the mid to late winter lamb price should be very strong," he said.
"There will be keen competition from domestic and exporters alike, but that is the unknown."
Mr Butt said new season lambs across NSW will be earlier than previous two seasons and will be very good.
"I still think numbers will be short due to older age groups of breeders being sold previously to processors due to adverse seasonal conditions," he said.