Sheep trade: Hogget prices edge closer to €6.00/kg

Base quotes have increased for the second week in a row, as bad weather and tightening supplies force the hand of factories to increase prices.

This week, both Kepak Athleague and Kildare Chilling increased their base prices by 10c/kg.

This, in turn, means that Kepak Athleague is offering a base quote of 545c/kg, with Kildare Chilling offering a base quote of 570c/kg.

Irish Country Meats was not quoting for hoggets on Monday, February 17; however, it did supply a quote for cast ewes and rams.

Week-on-week it is becoming increasingly difficult to get quotes for hoggets from meat processing facilities.

Despite factories trying to pick and choose what sheep they buy in, it is becoming much more difficult to do so.

At the lower end of the scale, meat processing facilities are starting negotiations for hoggets at 560c/kg.

Farmers involved in producer groups are securing prices of up to between 585c/kg and 590c/kg (up to a carcass weight of between 22.5kg and 23kg).

At current market prices, farmers are securing between 560c/kg and 580c/kg including quality insurance (QA) bonuses.

As of now, farmers are securing prices of between €127/head and €131/head including QA bonuses for lambs that are killing out at a carcass weight of between 22.5kg and 23kg.


This week, Kildare Chilling (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 570c/kg + 10c/kg QA – up 10c/kg on last week (payable up to a carcass of 23kg).

Kepak Athleague (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 545c/kg + 15c/kg – up 10c/kg on last week (payable up to a carcass of 22.5kg).

Overall, when the QA is factored in, this leaves quotes at 560-580c/kg.

In addition, cast ewes are making 290-310c/kg in sheep processing plants.

Hogget quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 545c/kg + 15c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 570c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 290c/kg;
  • Kildare Chilling: 300c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 300c/kg.


During the week ending Sunday, February 9, the number of hoggets processed increased by 360 head and amounted to 43,702.

Cast (ewe and ram) supplies at Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 6,434 – a decrease of 602 – for the week ending February 9.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending February 9):

  • Hoggets: 43,702 head (+360 or +0.8%);
  • Ewes and rams: 6,434 head (-602 or -8.5%);
  • Total: 50,136 head (-244 or -0.48%).

Furthermore, overall supplies decreased by 244 head during the week ending February 9.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending February 9):

  • Hoggets: 265,590 head (+29,041 or +12%);
  • Ewes and rams: 42,879 head (-10,295 or -19%);
  • Total: 308,472 head (+18,748 or +6%).