Processors have cut hogget quotes by 15p to 20p/kg, with base prices now on 540p to 545p/kg.

At the start of the week, hoggets were being purchased at 560p, but few deals beyond base quotes were reported by Wednesday.

Processors point to strong numbers coming on to the market, with farmers looking to clear stores from grazing ground before the slurry spreading period opens on 1 February. However, there are also reports of staffing shortages in boning halls, while other processors are prioritising cattle kills, which is adding to a backlog of sheep.

South of the Irish border processors have also moved to cut prices to around €7/kg, which converts to a sterling equivalent of 550p/kg.

With factory prices down, the impact is being felt in NI marts, which have eased by around £5 per head on last week.

In Britain, hogget are also down 10p to 15p/kg, with deals of 580p to 590p/kg available.

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