Deal completed to export 10,000 Irish hoggets

A deal, between the Wicklow Calf Company and Premier Livestock Market, has just been agreed to export 10,000 Irish hoggets to the Middle East.

Details of the consignment were finalised on Wednesday, March 1, and the first load of 2,500 hoggets is expected to depart from Shannon Airport next week.

A further three shipments, of 2,500 hoggets each, have also been agreed which will see 10,000 hoggets flown from Ireland over the next eight weeks.

The contract requires hoggets weighing over 50kg.

The latest agreement follows on from a successful deal between the two parties in 2016, which resulted in 8,000 Irish lambs being exported in the weeks leading up to the Muslim festival of EID.

Last year, some 48,000 sheep were exported from Ireland by live-export means, which was an increase of almost 50% on the previous year’s 32,000 head.

According to Bord Bia, 75% of these exports happened during the month of August which is one month ahead of the EID festival.

The news is likely to give the Irish hogget trade a boost, as the demand from live exporters combined with tightening supplies may have a positive impact on factory prices.

Hogget supplies continued to tighten during the latter stages of last week and, as a result, procurement managers are having to work to secure supplies this week.

The increase in hogget numbers, that was predicted earlier in the year, appears to have come and gone and buyers are beginning to find it difficult to secure the right type of stock.

Issues surrounding overweight and over-finished lambs appear to have eased somewhat in recent weeks, as agents appear keen to secure supplies.

Following the tightening in supplies, prices have also shown some improvement with the majority of processors now working off a base price of 485-490c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance bonuses).