HOGGET PRICES could slip further as supplies grow following the end of retention, but demand is limited as many buyers have switched to new season lamb, say auctioneers.

Auction throughput increased in the week to May 18, as farmers who retained hoggets to claim sheep annual premium are now sending them to market, after the end of retention on Fri, May 14.

Hexham and Northern Mart auctioneer Robert Whitelock said hogget numbers at Hexham hit 1200 this week (w/e May 18), almost double last week‘s throughput.

“With the end of retention we‘ll see lots more this week and next, but this is a time when companies are switching to lambs.

“We‘ve got a lot more product on the market but not the demand.

“There will be a greater supply of lambs in the south of the country. Here in the north, lambing has not long finished, so we‘ll see the last push for hoggets now.

“The price could slip to 110-112p/kg/lw but it all depends on quality. They‘ll still buy if the quality is there,” he said.