Weak Sterling sees surge in Northern hoggets crossing border for slaughter
During the first six weeks of 2018 local sheep processors in Northern Ireland saw a 9pc reduction in the number of hoggets slaughtered.
While the number of hoggets killed in Northern Ireland has declined year on year there has been an increase in the number of hoggets being exported south of the border for direct slaughter.
According to figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission in Northern Ireland, during the first six weeks of 2018 50,432 hoggets made the journey to the Republic for direct slaughter, a 20pc increase from 42,060 hoggets exported during the same period in 2017.
Exports to the Republic accounted for 55pc of total hogget output from Nothern Ireland during the 2018 period, an increase from 48pc in the same period in 2017.
There has been strong demand for Northern lambs in Southern plants due to a weaker sterling against euro making NI lambs very cost competitive.
NI lambs accounted for 13pc of the total lamb kill in ROI during 2018 to date.
The deadweight lamb price in NI last week increased by 6.2p/kg to 412.9p/kg while in here in the Republic it increased by the equivalent of 12.5p/kg to 429.2p/kg.
It comes as IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy met with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed this week and highlighted the “over the top” implementation of the Clean Sheep policy at factory level.