The recent gradual upward momentum in hogget prices continues with another 10c/kg added to quotes at the start of the week.

The general run of prices for individual sellers handling small numbers of quality-assured hoggets ranges from €6.25/kg to €6.45/kg, with regular sellers and groups achieving returns of €6.50/kg to €6.60/kg.

Buying for the Islamic festival of Ramadan, which starts on 22 May, is inserting more demand into the trade, leaving specialist finishers and agents in a stronger negotiating position with top prices reported at €6.65/kg to €6.70/kg and higher on occasion.

The trade in Northern Ireland has increased by 10p/kg to £5.50/kg to £5.60/kg on average (€6.29/kg to €6.42/kg).

There is more positivity in the trade with prices in Britain finally improving and rising by 15p/kg to 20p/kg since the start of the week. This is vital in increasing the competitiveness of Irish sheepmeat in key export markets, with reports also pointing to reducing supplies of New Zealand product.