The trade for ewe lambs at marts is strongly outdoing that of the trade for hogget ewes at sales.

Speaking to mart managers throughout the week, they have all said much of the same thing: “The good-quality, strong hogget ewe is a good trade and is continuing to sell well; however, the plainer or lesser-quality types are a really sticky trade and a very hard sell.”

The stickier trade for hogget ewes at this stage of the year has left farmers disappointed. Having witnessed strong lamb prices throughout 2021, it was expected that the same would be seen for breeding sheep – however, this hasn’t been the case entirely.

The majority of the better-quality hoggets, over the past week, have been selling from €180-190/head up to €230/head – with prices above this also seen, but only in a couple of instances.

Plainer quality hoggets remain a very sticky trade at marts

While plainer and average quality hoggets have been making from €140/head up to €170/head, in general.

Elseways, the trade for ewe lambs continues to drive on.

Farmers who would have bought ewe lambs last year and would have sold them on again this year as hoggets are back in around the ring for ewe lambs once again, to keep on again until next year as dry hoggets.

Ewe lambs in excess of 40kg, at many sales throughout the week, have been trading from €120/head up to €160/head, with lambs weighing back to 37-38kg – depending on quality – selling between €100/head and €120/head.