Numbers of hoggets at marts over the last week or so has dried up quite quickly, many mart managers have noted.
After seeing strong supplies of hoggets in 2022, with the number of hoggets processed up to the start of May this year totalling 785,463 head, it’s been a considerable U-turn compared to this time last year.
Hogget supplies were very tight during the opening few months in 2021, when numbers at this stage of the year were back over 142,500 head on this year.
A strong month of April, up to the start of May, saw supplies of hoggets coming on stream remain very firm throughout as key dates in the sheep calendar, Easter and Ramadan, saw demand remain vigorous throughout.
However, as April progressed into the start of May, mart managers have noted the drop off in supplies of hoggets coming through, as it gets to that time of year where numbers decline as usual as the season progresses.
But with such strong kills seen in recent weeks, supplies could possibly dry up that bit quicker.
We have seen this week, one factory trying to insert downward pressure on hogget prices, by cutting 25c/kg off its base price.
Despite this, prices are still holding firm at the top end of the market with, €7.30-7.40/kg on the table, with other meat processing still holding base prices to last week’s levels as well.
With spring lamb throughput back nearly 6,000 head last year, and grass growth now only really starting to pick up and less meal being fed to lambs due to the price of it and supplies of hoggets dwindling relatively fast, the hope is that it may help to strengthen prices in the weeks to come or at least help them to remain steady.