Hogget prices rise amid ‘dirty’ sheep confusion

Base hogget quotes have risen by 10-20c/kg this week, despite the confusion currently surrounding the Clean Livestock Policy (CLP) for sheep.

As it stands, processors are offering base quotes of 500-510c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance bonuses) for factory fit lots. This time last week, base quotes were sitting closer to 490-500c/kg.

Kildare Chilling is starting negotiations with farmers at 510c/kg (+ 10c/kg QA). Kepak Athleague is also currently offering 510c/kg and a QA bonus of 5c/kg. Irish Country Meats is quoting an all-in price of 510c/kg (500c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance Scheme bonus).

However, farmers marketing large number of hoggets or animals requiring no remedial clipping to comply with the CLP prior to slaughter may be able to squeeze an additional 5-10c/kg out of factory buyers. Ewe quotes remain largely unchanged from last week and are sitting at 280-290c/kg.

On Monday of this week, Kepak Athleague suspended processing for a number of hours due to issues surrounding the CLP. Other factories were forced to turn lambs away for clipping in near by facilities ante-mortem.


Some 52,081 sheep were slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants during the week ending February 11 – an increase of 2,403 head or 4.8% on the week previous.

Hogget throughput jumped by 2.3% or 976 head to reach 43,021 head. Cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings also increased by 18.7%.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes (week ending February 11):
  • Hoggets: 43,021 head (+976 head or +2.3%);
  • Ewes and rams: 9,053 head (+1,427 head or +18.7%);
  • Total: 52,081 head (+2,403 head or +4.8%).
Source: Department of Agriculture