The recent upward trajectory in sheep prices continues, with base quotes for Tuesday jumping by another 30c/kg to 35c/kg when compared with last week’s level.

Kildare Chilling continues to set the pace on base quotes, with its base quote of €7.50/kg plus 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) payment.

The two Irish Country Meats plants in Camolin and Navan have increased by a greater rate of 35c/kg to a base of €7.40/kg.

When their 20c/kg QA payment is included, the two plants are neck and neck for QA hoggets at a price of €7.60/kg.

Reports indicate that other plants have also increased their base quotes to in the region of €7.40/kg plus respective QA payments. This leaves opening prices for QA hoggets in the region of €7.55/kg to €7.60/kg.

Groups and regular sellers handling large numbers have now moved to a price range of €7.70/kg to €7.80/kg for quality assured sheep, with top prices including conformation bonuses heading in the direction of €7.85/kg to €7.90/kg.

The majority of plants are paying as standard to 23kg, with the exception of the two Irish Country Meats plants, which are paying to a carcase weight of 23.5kg.

Mart trade

Reports from mart sales on Monday are largely steady, with a couple of marts recording price increases averaging €2 to €3/head higher.

Heavier fleshed hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg are selling on average from €178 to €186/head, with occasional batches of excellent-quality and heavy hoggets rising to €190/head.

Ewe trade

Ewe quotes are firm, with better-quality ewe quotes ranging from €3.20/kg to €3.40/kg, with prices at the top end of the market ranging from €3.40/kg to €3.60/kg.

Lighter fleshed ewes less than 35kg carcase weight continue to be quoted a price in some plants of €3/kg to €3.10/kg.