Hogget trade strengthens by 20c/kg

Factory demand for hoggets has strengthened somewhat over recent days and quotes have improved by 20c/kg in many plants.

The Irish Country Meats’ sister plants – located in Navan and Camolin – are now working off a base price of 600c/kg for hoggets – up 20c/kg on last week’s offering.

In addition, buyers in Kildare Chilling have seen fit to up the ante and are currently offering 610c/kg to pull numbers through the gates.

Meanwhile, Kepak Athleague has opted to hold prices at last week’s levels and are starting negotiations with farmers at 590c/kg.

Hogget quotes:
  • Kepak Athleague: 590c/kg + 5c/kg QA;
  • ICM Camolin: 600c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • ICM Navan: 600c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 610c/kg + 10c/kg.

Although throughput numbers remain relatively small, more processors are now becoming active on the spring lamb front. Quotes are starting at 690c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance bonuses), while some butchers are willing to pay 720c/kg in order to meet market demand.

Some improvement has also been witnessed in the ewe market; quotes are ranging from 300c/kg up to 310c/kg this week.


Some 58,404 sheep were slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants during the week ending April 1 – an increase of 3,582 head or 6.5% on the previous week.

The increase in the total kill was largely driven by rising hogget and cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings, which jumped by 3.9% and 31% respectively.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes (week ending April 1):
  • Hoggets: 48,448 head (+1,833 head or +3.9%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,784 head (-169 head -8.7%);
  • Ewes and rams: 8,208 head (+1,954 head or +31%);
  • Total: 58,404 head (+3,582 head or +6.5%).

However, a decline was witnessed when it came to spring lamb throughput and numbers were back by 169 head or 8.7% when compared to the week ending March 25.

Since the beginning of the year, some 664,714 sheep were slaughtered in approved plants – a rise of 33,035 head or 5% on the number witnessed during 2017.

Increases were witnessed in all of the major categories. Hogget throughput stands at 561,231 head (+17,481 head), spring lamb numbers are up by 2,498 head and cast throughput is up by 13,407 head or 16%.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: 561,231 head (+17,481 head or +3%);
  • Spring lambs: 4,109 head (+2,498 head or +155%);
  • Ewes and rams: 99,336 head (+13,407 head or +16%);
  • Total: 664,714 head (+33,053 head or +5%).