The ODT’s headline tells a classic supply and demand story: Sheep shortage underpins demand.
You don’t have to be an economist to know that when demand exceeds supply the price rises and people who frequent stock sales say stock agents and farmers are paying silly prices for sheep.
There are several reasons for this.
Sheep numbers plummeted over the last few years because of dairy conversions and drought.
There is an over capacityof killing space in the meat industry.
Last season’s milk price fall led dairy farmers to cut costs so some farms which were growing supplements or providing grazing for dairying are looking for sheep to eat their excess feed.
All of that’s led to an increase in demand which has led to an increase in price for store stock which isn’t necessarily related to the value of the meat or wool on international markets.