Home lamb production is looking good, with the MLC predicting fourth-quarter lamb and mutton output 7% heavier than in October-December.
New Zealand suppliers are frustrated by the UK because of a stubbornly strong kiwi dollar.
In theory, UK buyers should be happy with talk of a likely heavier kill during the coming slaughter season in New Zealand after the abnormally low output last time.
Yet the severe drought in Spain, Portugal and France is likely to help them by creating unexpected demand in some of their markets on the Continent.
British processors should be able to maintain their gradual rebuilding of markets across the Channel, offering negotiating strength against the multiples at home. Exports of UK sheepmeat are set to be 10% heavier in the current half year than in July-December 2004.