Price rise: Hoggets hit highs of 550c/kg

Driven by a supply shortage, hogget prices have hit 550c/kg in some locations this week. As it stands, procurement managers are offering 535-540c/kg (including Quality Assurance bonuses) to secure numbers of factory fit stock.

Last week, factory buyers were offering all-in quotes of 510-520c/kg to secure numbers. However, most have now opted to increase base quotes in attempt to get numbers back through the gates.

When compared to the quotes offered two weeks ago, this week’s price hike sees the base value of a 21kg hogget jump by €8.40/head (510c/kg versus 550c/kg).

Farmers involved in producer groups may be able to secure an additional 10c/kg on top of the current quotes being offered by factory buyers and further bonuses are available for ‘clean’ sheep.

IFA national sheep chairman Sean Dennehy said the lamb market is very strong this week and factories are offering prices as high as 560c/kg to get very tight supplies. Dennehy said 550c/kg is common and finishers with available, clean numbers are commending 560c/kg.

It is clear supplies are very tight; demand is very strong and the factories have to get the numbers to meet customer requirements.


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 previous week.

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%).

The Marts

Mountbellew Mart

A smaller number of sheep passed through the ring of Mountbellew Mart on Saturday last. Hoggets and cast ewes met an improved trade in the Co. Galway venue, while a large number of in-lamb ewes and ewes with lambs at foot were on offer. However, buyers were lacking due to the weather conditions.

Sample hogget prices:
  • Ewe hoggets: 57kg – €120 or €2.11/kg;
  • Wether hoggets: 40kg – €90 or €2.25/kg;
  • Wether hoggets: 41kg – €89 or €2.17/kg;
  • Ewe hoggets: 50.6kg – €118 or €2.33/kg;
  • Ewe hoggets: 38.1kg – €88 or €2.31/kg;
  • Ewe hoggets: 42.3kg – €92 or €2.17/kg.

Cast ewes sold for €72-110, in-lamb ewes traded for €150-151 and ewes with lambs at foot sold for €130-285.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 450 sheep passed through the ring of Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Monday. According to the mart’s George Candler, the sales are still remaining small, which is keeping buyers active.

Top-quality hoggets on the day, he said, traded at €120-130/head – up €10-15/head on the corresponding period in 2017. Butcher hoggets made €2.25-2.36/kg (€115-130/head) and factory hoggets traded at €2.30-2.40/kg (€106-122/head).

Sample hogget prices:
  • 57kg: €130 or €2.28/kg;
  • 56kg: €126 or €2.25/kg;
  • 53kg: €125 or €2.36/kg;
  • 52kg: €122 or €2.39/kg;
  • 50kg: €119 or €2.38/kg;
  • 48kg: €115 or €2.40/kg.

Cast ewes traded for €79-122/head, while in-lamb ewes due in early March sold for €115-125/head.

Corrin Mart

Some 420 sheep passed through the ring of Corrin Mart, Fermoy, on Monday. Overall, an excellent trade was recorded and prices were up on last week.

Butcher hoggets made €106-144 or €52-85 over, while the store/factory lots traded at €50-102 or €42-58 over.

Sample hogget prices:
  • 57kg: €138 or €2.42/kg;
  • 55kg: €134 or €2.44/kg;
  • 49kg: €122 or €2.49/kg;
  • 56kg: €124 or €2.21/kg;
  • 41kg: €96 or €2.34/kg;
  • 38kg: €80 or €2.11/kg.

On the day, cast ewes traded for €32-122/head, while ewes with lambs at foot sold to a top price of €176.