The sheep trade has started the week in a steady manner.

Factories are anxious to source hoggets, with many agents active over the weekend and ringing regular suppliers regarding potential supplies.

While their appetite is strong, they are unwilling to change their position on price.

Top prices

Regular sellers and those trading through groups are receiving top prices of €6.20/kg to €6.30/kg, with some of these lower-priced hoggets also including offers on free transport and increasing numbers traded at €6.30/kg.

Individual sellers handling significant numbers are trading on average from €6.15/kg to €6.25/kg.

Occasional sellers handling small numbers are typically trading within a price range of €5.90/kg to €6.10/kg, with prices influenced by the number of sheep on offer, quality assurance status and the carcase weight of lambs.

The trade in Northern Ireland is also steady, with base quotes remaining in the region of £5.20/kg or €5.89/kg at Monday evening’s exchange rate of 88.3p to the euro.

Regular sellers or those trading through groups and securing bonus payments are negotiating 10p/kg to 15p/kg higher.

Stronger British trade

The British trade continues to record a strengthening in price, with the standard quality quotation (SQQ) for old-season lamb increasing by 11p/kg week on week on Monday.

This leaves the price at £2.67/kg or the equivalent of just over €3.00/kg.

Live prices are an important gauge of market performance in Britain, with over 50% of finished sheep traded live.

The recovery in price is said to be driven by tight supplies, both produced domestically and imported, and hopes of higher volumes being exported.

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