After weeks of prices holding steady, the sheep trade has taken off in the last week with prices heading in a positive direction once again.
There were signs the trade was stirring when one western-based factory moved its base price for hoggets up 5c/kg at the start of last week.
Moreover, to keep up with the pace of other meat processing plants, Kildare Chilling increased its base price for hoggets by 10c/kg towards the tail end of last week.
Coming into the start of this week, two factories were offering €7.00/kg all in with quality assurance (QA) bonuses factored in.
Kildare Chilling, since the start of last week, has increased its base price for hoggets by 20c/kg to now stand at €6.90/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus on Monday.
Irish Country Meats has also increased its base price for hoggets substantially in the space of a week, by 25c/kg, to now stand at €6.75/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus.
This means base prices since the start of last week, across meat processing plants, have increased by 10-25c/kg and now range from €6.75/kg up to €6.90/kg.
For those trading at the top end of the market, returns of €7.00-7.10/kg are being secured – and even up to as high as €7.20/kg, Agriland has been told.
Furthermore, Kildare Chilling has now increased its price for hoggets that are killing out over a 25kg carcass weight. It is now offering €155/head for these heavy hoggets, while other plants continue to inflict cuts on such hoggets whether it be cutting prices by 30c/kg or paying up to a 22kg carcass weight.
The cull ewe trade also continues to move upwards, with factories, since the start of last week, increasing base prices for ewes by 10c/kg to now stand at €3.50/kg.
This is now leaving prices for ewes ranging from €3.50/kg up to as high as €3.80/kg at the higher end of the market.