Hogget prices have jumped again this week, rising anywhere from €5 to €10 per head.

The big talking point from many mart sales this week is record prices of in excess of €200 per head paid for heavy hoggets.

While these are occasional prices, there are significant numbers of heavy hoggets selling from €190 to €199 per head. Such prices are running €40 to €50 above the corresponding week in 2023.

The factory trade has also jumped with Kildare Chilling leading the charge with a base quote of €8/kg, plus 10c/kg quality assurance payment.

This represents an increase of 40c/kg on last week’s quote.

Other plants are said to be following suit albeit not to the same price point and producers are advised to keep abreast of the trade to ensure they are receiving maximum returns.

The trade is being underpinned by peak buying for the Islamic religious festival of Ramadan which starts on 10 March.

Reports indicate that factories will struggle to achieve the level of throughput recorded in 2023 of over 67,000 head in the week leading up to the festival despite factory quotes running €1.80/kg higher. This price increase is the equivalent of over €40 on a 23kg carcase.

There is also sharp upward movement in the northern trade as factories move to compete with agents purchasing sheep for export to Ireland or Britain.

Base quotes for Thursday have increased by 30p/kg to £6.50/kg (€7.60/kg), while top prices are running 20p/kg to 30p/kg higher.

Supplies of hogget in Britain are also extremely tight with reports showing prices heading for £7.50/kg or the equivalent of €8.77/kg.