2 February 1996

Hogget SQQ on the rise again

HOGGET prices have climbed sharply again, with the standard quality quotation (SQQ) in the week to Jan 29 topping 132p/kg.

Auctioneer Adam Day at Cockermouth attributes Mondays average of 135p/kg, the highest this season, to "an excellent show of sheep and a strong demand". Most farmers are pleased with this trade and are expecting it to go higher, he says.

Auctioneer Keith Rose at Northampton hopes the trade will rise to 150p/kg by the time new season lambs feature prominently in the market. "There will be a few by the end of March, and four weeks after that they will account for about half the overall entry."

Prices at the 150p/kg mark would give farmers who paid £40-plus for store lambs an adequate return, says Mr Rose.

And at Rugby, where numbers are also tight, auctioneer Simon Draper says the outlook for the hogget trade is good, but buyers will resist any rapid price rises.

Similarly at Welshpool, where Monday saw prices rise 9p/kg on the week to average 135p/kg, auctioneer Glandon Lewis says buyers are complaining the trade is getting "too dear, too quick". &#42