Northern sheep trade: Average hogget and spring lamb prices rise

The latest Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) report shows that the average deadweight hogget and spring lamb prices were up for the week ending April 17, compared with the previous week.

Sheep trade average prices

For the week ending April 17, the average hogget price in Northern Ireland was 654.2p/kg (€7.51/kg), which was an increase of 26.6p/kg on the previous week (627.6p/kg).

Similarly, an increase in the average price was seen for spring lambs. For the week ending April 17, the average deadweight price for spring lambs in the North was €692.3p/kg (€7.95/kg). This was a lift of 9.2p/kg on the previous week.

Processors in the North reported an increase in supplies of hoggets and spring lambs, with throughput for the week ending April 17, totalling 6,145 head.

This was an increase of 2,394 head from the 3,751 hoggets/lambs processed in local plants in the previous week, according to the LMC.

Exports of lambs/hoggets to the south for direct slaughter on the other hand, saw a decrease of almost 1,000 head.

The number of hoggets/lambs sent to the south for direct slaughter, for the week ending April 17, amounted to 2,759 head. The week prior to that, a sum of 3,756 hoggets/lambs were sent to southern plants for slaughter.

Northern mart trade

According to the LMC, smaller numbers of hoggets continued to pass through the sale rings compared to previous weeks, with trade remaining firm across the marts.

On the other hand, increased numbers of spring lambs passed through the marts last week.

At Saintfield Mart last week, 145 hoggets sold from 530-600p/kg, while 118 spring lambs made from 625-700p/kg.

This compares to 180 hoggets selling from 543-600p/kg and 75 spring lambs selling from 652-700p/kg last week, the LMC said.

Top reported prices for cull ewes generally ranged from £143/head up to £183/head, with a top reported price of £207/head at Armoy Mart on Wednesday, April 21.