Despite hogget prices lifting by up to 20-30c/kg since the turn of the month, the bigger picture reveals that prices are still worse off than they were this time last year.

This wouldn’t be so bad if input costs hadn’t spiralled and the cost of pretty much everything hadn’t increased – but it has.

What farmers are getting for hoggets now is going out quicker than it came in.

Looking back to this time last year, €7.30/kg for hoggets was “freely available” at the time, with prices even pushing €7.40-7.50/kg.

Currently, hogget prices are a good bit off that figure, with €7.30/kg the best offer on the table at present and prices generally reaching €7.15-7.25/kg.

With meal costs on the rise over the last number of weeks and fuel prices reaching unprecedented levels, among other things, the prices farmers are getting for their work leaves a lot to be desired for – and worse could be yet to come.

However, to finish on a more positive note, cull ewe prices are exceeding what they were this time last year.

Up to €3.20/kg was the best of what was on the table 12 months ago, whereas now, prices are reaching as high as €3.90/kg for ewes.