Processors are keeping a tight grip on the sheep trade with quotes for hoggets cut by 10p to 15p/kg from the start of this week.

This puts base prices on 495p to 500p/kg. Negotiating above this level has been difficult unless farmers can offer big numbers of meal finished animals.

However, by mid-week, snow and ice resulted in fewer farmers offloading animals due to treacherous road conditions, leaving factories and marts short on numbers. Prices did improve with deals of 510p/kg on offer to entice farmers to travel.

In the Republic of Ireland hoggets are moving off farm between €6 to €6.20/kg which converts to a sterling equivalent of 500p to 517p/kg.

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