A 60-70c/kg price gap for hoggets has opened up compared to this time 12 months ago, as further cuts this week put a dampener on the trade once again.

Base quotes in some factories at the start of this shorter four-day processing week, as a result of the bank holiday for St. Brigid’s Day, have fallen 5-10c/kg on last week.

It’s not just hogget quotes that are back on this time last year, with ewe prices also behind by 20-30c/kg on the same period in 2022.

The feed cost being incurred to finish hoggets is what is currently draining the life out of producers and any optimism around lifts in price a fortnight ago has vanished with those increases partially or fully eroded.


Looking at quotes for hoggets this time last year, they ranged from €6.50-6.70/kg, with base quotes at the start of this week ranging from €5.90/kg up to €6.00/kg – which represents a 60-70c/kg differential.

With factories now widely paying up to a 23kg carcass weight in most cases, it means that this 60-70c/kg difference is leaving farmers at the higher end of the scale (70c/kg) down €16/head.

This figure is based on taking a price of €6.70/kg up to a 23kg carcass weight this time last year and the current top quote of €6.00/kg up to a 23kg carcass weight.

Ewe price also behind on 2022

A price gap of 20-30c/kg is also evident for ewes at the moment, compared to the same period last year.

Quotes for ewes 12 months ago were ranging from €3.20/kg up to €3.50/kg. However, currently quotes have remained stubbornly firm in many factories and are ranging from €3.00/kg up to €3.20/kg.