A red-hot live trade for slaughter-fit sheep saw cull ewes sell to record prices of £343 at Kilrea Mart on Monday.

Heavy hoggets also remain a rampant trade, with animals weighing 27kg to 30kg commanding prices of £170 to £200.

Hoggets weighing 25kg to 26.5kg are regularly making around £160, with good-quality lots weighing 23kg to 25kg selling above the £150 mark.

Factories have increased quotes to 690p/kg payable to 23kg deadweight, with 700p/kg paid to keep pace with the marts, where buying demand for Ramadan continues to underpin prices.


The sheep trade in Britain is now north of 750p/kg and buying agents in NI continue to ship heavier hoggets to abattoirs in England to capitalise on the price differential.

Official DAERA figures show 11,968 sheep were exported from NI onto farms in Britain during February before moving to slaughter, an 82% increase on the same month last year.

In the Republic of Ireland, factory prices of €8.20/kg to 23kg are available, which converts to sterling prices in the region of 680p/kg.


The beef trade remains on a firm footing, with base quotes of 460p/kg and deals in the region of 482p to 486p/kg, depending on numbers.

Cull cows have seen an uplift, with quotes for O+3 animals rising 12p/kg to a base of 340p/kg and R3 animals on 350p/kg. Deals are generally running 15p to 20p/kg above quotes.

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