Report Gives a Snapshot of 2023’s U.S. Lamb Market

Last year saw the smallest lamb crop on record with just 3.03 million head, but there were also some bright spots related to lamb imports and pricing. That’s according to the 2023 Sheep Industry Review, a checkoff-funded report commissioned by the American Lamb Board and compiled by the American Sheep Industry Association.

“Last year saw a decline in inventory at all levels,” says ALB chair Jeff Ebert. “However, producers did feel a bit of relief with a significant decrease in imported lamb and mutton, improved drought conditions in most areas, a slight decline in production costs, and relatively high slaughter and retail prices.”

Breeding sheep declined by two percent to 3.67 million head, market lambs were down 24,000 head to 1.28 million head, and the total lamb crop was down to 3.03 million head, the smallest on record. Feedlot supplies were also down last year because of smaller lamb crops.

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