Small numbers of spring lambs have been coming on stream in Northern Ireland (NI) and quotes this past week have been reaching 630-635p/kg.

Meat processing plants are paying up to 21kg carcass weight and quotes next week are expected to open up at a similar range of 630-635p/kg, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Furthermore, quotes for hoggets in NI this week were in the region of 585-590p/kg, with similar base prices expected for the start of next week up to a carcass weight of 22kg.

Looking at throughput figures, 7,121 hoggets/lambs were killed in meat processing plants last week (week ending April 9).

This was up 430 head from the 6,691 processed the previous week.

While exports of hoggets/lambs to the Republic of Ireland (for the week ending April 9) for slaughter totalled 5,716 head - a decrease of 667 head when compared to the previous week, the LMC said.

Furthermore, the average deadweight hogget price in NI last week (week ending April 9) was 570.8p/kg - which was an increase of 2.5p/kg from the previous week.

Mart trade in NI

The LMC said that a strong trade was reported across marts this past week, with hogget numbers similar to the previous week.

In general prices for the week gone by for hoggets ranged from 480p/kg up to 645p/kg.

While prices for spring lambs at marts ranged from 509p/kg up to to just over 650p/kg.

The LMC added that the cull ewe trade remains firm this week with top reported prices at £180-238 across marts.