Prices were in front of ’what everyone had envisaged’ at UK auction marts.
Strong demand for UK lamb across Europe has driven a stronger than expected hogg trade at UK auction marts.
Auctioneer Paul Ashton said the trade at Sedgemoor mart was ‘flying’.
He said: “It is related to the export demand. All the lighter hoggs are going to the continent. The heavier ones are going to Ireland.”
Skipton auctioneer Ted Ogden said prices were ‘in front of what everyone had envisaged’.
He said: “There does seem to be a decent demand on the export front. The home market is gearing up for Easter.
“But I would not say there are any large numbers available. Supply is quite tight.”
Mr Ashton said earlier in the year they had expected prices would crash.
“That is what all the buyers were telling me. They all said it has gone up too fast,” he said.
“Actually it has stayed there. Most buyers are now saying it looks like it is going to hold on and stay there.”
He added the numbers coming to market were fairly good.
“We have not seen a real drop,” he said. “If anything we have had increased numbers.”
Mr Ashton added it was reflected across the board, with store lamb sales also very strong and numbers well up on last year.
He said farmers had taken advantage of the strong trade and it did not look like the numbers were going to be there later on, coupled with a potential shortage of early new season lambs as people move away from early lambing.
Mr Ogden added the trade was encouraging for anyone with stock ready for sale, although he acknowledged prices could rise further or fall back.
“Nobody can get a crystal ball out to see the future,” he said. “If they are at a level now, I would say sell.”