According to Johnny van der Merwe, the managing director of agricultural market analysis company AMT, sheep prices are likely to remain low in 2021 due to lower demand. He said that feeder lamb prices were 4% lower in January compared to the same period last year and that both feeder and slaughter lamb prices will likely remain low until April.

However, he expects prices to increase in July, which is typical for that time of year. Van der Merwe also noted that although improved production conditions are good for farmers, it will lead to a rise in the supply of animals on the market, which will result in lower selling prices.

Research from the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University shows that sheep production in the Northern Cape has declined by 25% over the past two years due to drought.

Additionally, farmers on the Highveld are facing challenges due to low prices and high levels of stock theft.

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