Hogg numbers were dropping back at UK auction marts, providing a boost for prices.
Richard Turner, Gisburn auction mart, said hogg prices seemed to have jumped very quickly and this was down to lower numbers, as well as optimism on price rises from the situation with African swine fever in China.
Mr Turner said: “We have gone through Ramadan and big numbers have come in. There is still a few about. With the cold weather, spring lambs have perhaps not come forward as quickly but there may be more down South.”
New season lamb prices averaged more than 280p/kg at Gisburn’s Saturday (May 11) sale, with vendors hoping the trade could be on the up. This was up on the week from 237p/kg.
And auctioneers highlighted even old season hoggs had averaged 211p/kg.
McCartneys chairman Clive Roads said spring lambs were coming forward but there were still hoggs about.
“They are starting to dry up now. We are into the middle of May, the sooner they are gone the better it will be for the trade,” he said, adding there had been a lot of heavier hoggs about this year.