Hogget prices have jumped 30p to 40p/kg with deals of 650p/kg on offer as local plants struggle to compete with a rampant mart trade.

Factory quotes have risen by 25p to 40p/kg with plants on 615p to 630p/kg. However, farmers should ignore the lower quotes as factory agents cannot source sheep at that price.

Most reports indicate 640p/kg is a realistic base for producer groups and farmers handling smaller numbers, with 650p/kg paid to regular finishers. This puts the value of a 22.5kg carcase at £146.

Live trade

In the marts earlier this week, hoggets weighing 23kg to 26kg half-weight were regularly making £152 to £156. Those from 28kg to 32kg are upwards of £160 to £170 with a growing number of buyers exporting these animals to Britain, where factory prices have risen to around 700p/kg.

That uplift in price has seen a growing number of farmers offloading hoggets which were originally destined for breeding this autumn.

Irish factories are paying up to €7.80/kg for finishers handling big numbers, which would equate to a sterling price around 650p/kg.

Fat ewes

Cull ewes are also benefitting from increased processing demand with fleshed lowland cross animals making upwards to £250, while animals with more hill breeding are returning £120 to £160 depending on quality.

Read more

Sheep price update: trade heats up as hoggets top €180/head

Organic farmers travelling on average 39km for ration