It would seem the lack of demand from consumers for hoggets, coupled with an ever increasing number coming forward outside processors desired weight range driving prices increasingly downward.
At Longtown yesterday an entry of 5073 hoggs levelled at 183p/kg, with those inside the SQQ range averaging 199p/kg. A total of 1823 of the hoggs sold were over 46kg, which no doubt didn’t help the average. This compares unfavourably with last week’s trade when the overall mart average was 198p/kg and the SQQ average was 210p/kg, drops of 15p/kg and 11p/kg, respectively and is markedly below the prices achieved a fortnight ago when the same centre recorded an overall average of 203p/kg and an SQQ average of 216p/kg.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s sale at United Auctions, Stirling, saw 3121 hoggs sold to average 180.37p/kg, a fall of 8.03p/kg on the week, reflecting the trend seen nationwide in the last seven days.
The spring lamb trade is moving in to a higher gear numbers wise, particularly in the south west of England, with Greenslade Taylor Hunt selling 899 new season lambs on Monday at Sedgemoor to average 209.12p/kg, but this is a marked fall on the sale seven days previously which saw 714 sold to level at 244.38p/kg. The Sedgemoor hogget trade bore out a similar story, with 405 sold to average 184.51p/kg, back from the 214.28p/kg averaged for 990 sold the week before.
The message coming back from processors is once again this week one of slowing demand for lamb from consumers and this will no doubt continue to have an affect on the trade as will the shift in the Euro seen in the last week or so. Those with hoggets left to sell will of course be wishing they’d been fit enough to cash a few weeks ago while those with lambs coming forward in the coming weeks will be hoping the trend starts to shift in the opposite direction pretty quickly. As ever, only time will tell.