Prime Hoggett and Spring Lamb Trade

6th May 2015

The 2015 hoggett season started cautiously in January with a luke warm feel about it with an sqq of around 190p. We at Welshpool experienced large volumes of sheep through our market and at the beginning of February saw a few of our feeding men dipping their toes in the hogg trade a little earlier than usual with many of their quality hoggs selling for well over £90 head.

The sqq price at start of March was around 193p peaking at 204/5p mid March and going into April ranging from a 190p start down to a 180p finish, with the heavier hoggs seeing the biggest drop in price. The reasons for the difficult trading conditions are down to many factors. The main one being the currency, with the euro valued at only 72p at the beginning of May making any sort of export trade very difficult. There are also many more feeders keeping many more hoggs and due to the good spring weather hoggs have fed well on roots resulting in an abundance of heavy weight hoggetts presented for sale. The only saving grace this year is that little or no money has been spent on feeding concentrates.

Our spring lamb trade started well with good numbers and trade peaking at an sqq of 274p on 6th April. However given an easier hogg trade the new season lambs fell along with them resulting in an sqq of 211p on 4th May. A drop of some £18 to £24 Head!

As we enter May it is my view that hogg numbers will dry up quicker than expected and as abattoirs turn to killing new season lamb we may see the trade firm slightly but this would be greater aided by the currency moving in our favour to help our exports.

On this happy note the last time our sheep trade was at the current level was back in 2009 with a hogget sqq of 177p and spring lamb of 221p some six years ago.

We are all at present, myself included disolutioned with our prime lamb prices, but I urge you to USE YOUR LOCAL LIVESTOCK MARKETS to sell your livestock.

The deadweight price is based on the market price where the competition is at. We all remember 2001 when the deadweight firms had no market price to compare with.

Jonathan Evans
Welshpool Livestock Sales