Factory prices for hoggets have broken the 600p/kg barrier this week , with reports of 610p/kg paid as demand outstrips supply.
At the 22kg carcase limit, this makes finished hoggets worth £134. But, given the scarcity of supply and competition between processors on both sides of the Irish border, deals are being made to a carcase weight of 23kg.
Official base quotes have increased by 10p/kg to 580p/kg, though the reality is that 600p/kg is widely available for all suppliers.
In the marts, prices have increased by £4 to £5 per head at most sales this week, with the main run of prices ranging from £134 to £138 for meal-finished hoggets.
Buyers for factories on both sides of the border are in direct competition for a limited pool of animals.
Base quotes in the south have increased to €6.80/kg, with price deals of €7.20/kg being paid to 23kg for NI hoggets to be shipped south for processing.
At current exchange rates, this converts to 610p to 615p/kg payable to 22kg carcase weight.
Prices in Scotland are holding steady at 610p/kg to 620p/kg this week, albeit for 21kg carcase weight.