STAWELL abattoir Frewstal is feeling the pressure as lamb prices skyrocket across the state.
Last week, Fairfax Media reported that demand for lambs from processors at the Bendigo markets was notably stronger.
Buyers pushed carcass weight prices above 800c setting a new price standard for medium and heavy trade lambs in Victoria.
Heavy trade lambs 22 to 24 kilograms recorded record prices too, with domestic processors paying from $172 to $198, to average 751c/kg cwt.
Frewstal livestock manager Greg Nicholls said the production at the Abattoir Road, Stawell business would be scaled back due to the high prices.
“We’ll just have to wind back production,” he said.
“Usually we work six very busy days, so instead we might have to scale it back to five more quiet days once we do the basic numbers.”
He said the prices were causing the business to run at a loss.
“Things were fine until last week,” he said.
“We’re losing about $15 to $20 a head for the lambs. Usually we can buy them for $5.80 a head, now all of the sudden that’s changed.”
Mr Nicholls attended the Bendigo markets on Monday and said things weren’t any different to the previous week.
“It was pretty much the same as it was, and generally it’s the same all across the east side of the country,” he said.
He said it was possible that consumers could experience flow on effects from the price increase.
“When you find prices pushed up for processors, naturally the retail sector then has to push prices up too,” he said.
“What we really want to see is a drop of about $20 in the next few weeks, but that will most likely not happen.
“We’ve seen price hikes like this before, it’s just part of the industry.
“Things get very difficult this time of year, so hopefully things will get better once spring rolls around.
“It would be great if the industry got together and settled on a price for the whole year, but that’s just not how it works.”