Factories have moved to reduce sheep prices by another 10c/kg over the weekend, with hogget quotes for Monday falling by a further 10c/kg.
This leaves plants quoting off a base price of €5.90/kg to €6.00/kg.
This is being used to set the benchmark for farmers trading through groups or on a base-price-plus-bonus mechanism.
Opening prices are typically starting in the region of €6/kg for producers handling small numbers of hoggets or sellers not trading on a regular basis and possessing non-quality assured (QA) lamb.
Regular sellers are negotiating prices in the region of €6.20/kg to €6.25/kg, with some deals also completed at this level with transport costs fully or partly covered.
Keeping hoggets moving
Some sellers with hoggets approaching 23kg carcase weight are content to keep them moving, with sheep sold at €6.25kg to 23kg carcase weight grossing over €143.
However, reports indicate that some specialist finishers and those handling big numbers are reluctant to move at this level, or at a top price of €6.30/kg to €6.35/kg, with a stand-off developing for large batches.
The trade will be influenced in the coming days depending on what numbers come on stream, market dynamics and how anxious factories are to get their hands on higher numbers.
There is little merit for producers or the industry in feeding hoggets into excessive weights
IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy said factories are using a tactic of trying to talk the trade down and scare producers into selling at lower prices.
He advised farmers to continue to assess lambs and draft when fit, but to ensure that you are receiving the best price possible.
There is little merit for producers or the industry in feeding hoggets into excessive weights and giving factories free meat for no return and the advice is to assess hoggets carefully.
The ewe trade is steady, with farmers handling small numbers trading in the region of €2.90/kg to €3.05/kg, while prices at the top of the market are reported in a price range of €3.10/kg to €3.20/kg.