Factory trade: Hogget quotes drop to €6/kg

Factory buyers have moved to tighten their grip on the hogget trade and, as a result, quote decreases of 20-30c/kg have been witnessed in some processing plants.

Numerous plants have dropped base quotes to as low as 600c/kg, while others are starting negotiations with farmers at 610c/kg.

Under-finished and light hoggets are also meeting a difficult trade and buyers have warned that these animals will face penalties if they are presented for processing.

Like the hogget trade, spring lamb quotes have also come under pressure and reductions of 10c/kg on last week’s base quotes are common. Factory buyers are now starting negotiations with farmers at 680-700c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance bonuses).

Despite the dip in hogget and lamb trade, the ewe trade remains relatively steady and quotes of 300-320c/kg are on offer again this week.


Figures from the Department of Agriculture’s sheep kill database show that some 49,378 sheep were slaughtered in approved plants during the week ending April 22 – an increase of 818 head or 1.7% on the previous week.

Throughput increases were witnessed in the spring lamb and cast (ewe and ram) categories – up 781 head and 627 head respectively – while the weekly hogget kill dipped by 610 head to stand at 37,218 head.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: 37,218 head (-610 head or -1.6%);
  • Spring lambs: 2,432 head (+781 head or +47.3%);
  • Ewes and rams: 9,708 head (+627 head or +6.9%);
  • Total: 49,378 head (+818 head or +1.7%).

Looking at the cumulative sheep kill this year, some 805,960 sheep were slaughtered in export approved plants up to the week ending April 22 – up 17,921 head or 2% on the corresponding period in 2017.

Strong increases in cast and hogget slaughterings are responsible for a large part of this increase, while the number of spring lambs slaughtered is actually back by 4,720 head or 35% on the same time frame in 2017.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: 670,907 head (+1,379 head or +0.2%);
  • Spring lambs: 8,767 head (-4,720 head or -35%);
  • Ewes and rams: 126,228 head (+21,577 head or +21%);
  • Total: 805,960 head (+17,921 head or +2%).