Cull ewe prices have increased ahead of the muslim festival
Demand for sheepmeat from the Muslim community has provided a market for cull ewes which would have no place otherwise, according to Paul Ashton, principle sheep auctioneer at Sedgemoor market.
It comes as Muslims prepare to celebrate the festival of Eid over the coming days.
Paul Ashton, principle sheep auctioneer at Sedgemoor market, said if it was not for the Muslim market prices would ‘be absolutely on the floor’.
“There is no other market for them, apart from a very small amount of kebab meat,” he said.
“If they were not taking them in numbers, there would be problems.”
He said cull ewes had become much more expensive at Sedgemoor, rising by about £20/head over the past few weeks.
“The demand is particularly for big, strong ewes, they have been selling at about £105-£106/head.
“A lot of abattoirs stockpile ewes early, depending on how many they sell they either go very dear or very cheap. This year has been a good year.”
Brian Ross, prime sheep auctioneer at Lawrie and Symington, said prices had dropped at their last sale before Eid.
“It actually went the other way and sheep got cheaper, but it was down to numbers. There was demand there this week and a very firm trade," he said.
Mr Ashton added the cull ewe trade would probably dip after the festival.
“At the end of the day it all depends on numbers,” he said.
Looking to the next few weeks, Mr Ross said he expected there would be more lambs coming to market.
“We have still got a strong export market with the currency as it is. July was quite a good month this year and we would be hoping for the same," he added.
“But with the sheep trade, you never know what is around the corner.”