Scottish hogg prices supported by tightening supplies in Europe

Scottish hogg prices supported by tightening supplies in Europe

Scottish producer prices for hoggs are being supported by a tightening of supplies in the UK and across the major European sheep-producing countries, analysis by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has revealed.

Stuart Ashworth

Stuart Ashworth, QMS head of economics services.

Between June 2014 and the end of January 2015, UK abattoirs handled almost 470,000 more prime sheep than last year, an increase of 5%.

“During January alone, the UK hogg kill was eight percent higher than in 2014 although Scottish supplies were tightening and Scottish abattoirs handled nearly three percent fewer hoggs in January,” Stuart Ashworth, QMS head of economics services said.

“Auction market throughputs for February suggest that hogg supplies have tightened further with English and Welsh auction throughputs falling below last year’s levels and Scottish numbers continuing below year earlier levels. Carcase weights continue to be heavier than last year and so the tonnage of lamb meat continues to run well ahead of last year.”

Hogg numbers have also tightened in Ireland where the kill since the start of the year has been nearly three percent lower than last year, again helping to support farm gate prices.

Meanwhile in France the hogg kill in January was one percent lower than a year ago. European prices are consequently currently higher than last year, up in general more than five percent on the year in most major producing countries.

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