The latest market update from the Agriculture Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) shows sheep throughput recorded at 173,000 head, a reduction of 7% on the previous week.

Hogget supplies are falling at a faster rate than lamb numbers are building and this situation will continue in the weeks ahead.

Throughput in marts of hoggets and lambs was recorded at 89,500 head for the week ending 25 May. This equates to a 9% reduction on the previous week, which was also 9% lower than the preceding week.

The reduction in throughput is coming from a higher base compared with throughput in 2020 and 2021, with year to date throughput running 325,000 head higher at 4,23m head.

Price fluctuation

There has been some fluctuation in prices across different categories of stock. The old-season lamb (hogget) standard quality quotation (SQQ) liveweight price for the week ending 25 May averaged £2.49/kg (€2.93/kg), a drop of 6.5p/kg on the previous week.

In contrast, the SQQ liveweight price for lambs increased by 4.5p/kg to average £3.28/kg (€3.86/kg).

Deadweight prices eased across hoggets and lambs. The hogget price reduced by 6.6p/kg to £5.99/kg (€7.05/kg), while the lamb price reduced by 4.4p/kg to £6.72/kg (€7.91/kg).

The market update also reports that cull ewe prices in marts continue to meet brisk demand, with average prices increasing by £5/head to £115 (€135).