Factory prices for hoggets have risen 10-20p/kg with reports of 550p/kg on offer as processors struggle to compete with the mart trade.

Base quotes generally open on 540p/kg, although some plants are trying to hold on at a quote of 530p/kg.

However, with numbers scarce, factory agents are struggling to source hoggets below the 540p/kg barrier. Deals of 545p to 550p/kg were freely available midweek.

In the marts, prices are up 10-20p/kg or £2 to £5 on last week, with good-quality meal-fed hoggets now trading over £120 per head with increasing regularity.

Underpinning the mart trade is a marked increase in buying demand from agents working for Irish processors.

In the Republic of Ireland, hogget prices are generally in the region of €6.50/kg this week, which converts to a sterling price around 545p/kg.

However, 5-10c/kg more is available to specialist finishers handling larger numbers.

Hold firm

Hoggets have now increased by close on 40p/kg in just over two weeks, with a strong indication that prices will hold firm over the coming months as forecasts show a downturn in supplies.

Prices of 550p/kg are in line with factory quotes during the same period last year.

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