14 May 1999

Hoggets are holding firm

By Simon Wragg

HOGGET values have firmed slightly against increasing competition from new season supplies.

At Ludlow, auctioneer Clive Roads for McCartneys reports hoggets are still attracting interest, possibly because there is nowhere near enough new season lamb for buyers.

Standard sorts averaged 98p/kg on Monday, topping the MLCs SQQ for old season supplies by almost 8p/kg.

And where new season supplies have taken the trade, demand is still there albeit at a lower price. Exeter Market Auctioneers saw a smaller entry of hoggets averaged 80p/kg earlier this week.

Further north prices are beginning to weaken. Kendals trade on this week saw bids average 68p/kg with a top shout of 85p/kg for a smaller than normal entry of 85 head. Skipton faired slightly better to average 70p/kg for medium sorts. Heavy lambs took the cream of the bids to average 80p/kg, reports Craven Cattle Marts.

Following MLCs prediction new season trade continues to strengthen, report auctioneers.

As supply and demand dictates, some northern marts are catching the best bids for limited supplies. Continental and Suffolk crosses have attracted most interest to make an average of £1.29/kg at Kendal this week. Traditional breeds were back at £1.05/kg.

Again, Exeters Monday trade averaged £1.18/kg – up 1.5p/kg on the week – against a better entry of over 2100 lambs. Bids rallied to top £1.29 for standard weight entries.

Electronic sales also met a strong trade. An entry of over 750 lambs graded at 2 to 4L averaged £2.62 earlier this week, reports Southern Counties Auctioneers.

According to MLC figures issued on May 11, almost 20,500 new season lambs are being marketed daily and achieving a SQQ of £1.24, up 2.7p/kg. Old season supplies have slipped to 5,200 though prices firmed at a SQQ of 92p/kg, up 2.9p.