Hogget prices have recorded further upward movement this week, with base quotes for Tuesday rising by 10c/kg.

Kildare Chilling is working off a base price of €8.80/kg plus its 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) payment.

Reports indicate the plant's new owners Dawn Meats are also working from a similar base price, while the two Irish Country Meats plants in Camolin and Navan are not offering an official hogget quote for Tuesday.

The latest increase in price is being underpinned by supplies failing to satisfy demand.

The appetite for sheep at present is being boosted by religious celebrations marking the ending of Ramadan on Tuesday / Wednesday.

Reports indicate that many producers handling smaller numbers pushed the last of their hoggets on to the market for the Easter trade, while throughput of ewe hoggets has slowed.

Spring lamb

The tightness in hogget supplies is generating more bite for spring lambs. Numbers of lambs are also tight, but quotes remain unchanged.

All plants are offering an opening base price of €9.20/kg, with the two ICM plants' higher QA payment of 20c/kg and extra 0.5kg carcase weight payment (20.5kg) separating the plants.

Kildare Chilling is working from a base quote of €9.20/kg plus 10c/kg QA payment.

Cull ewe trade

The cull ewe trade is knocking on the door of €4/kg, with quotes ranging from €3.80/kg to €3.90/kg in the larger processors, while Ballon Meats has surpassed the €4/kg mark for the last three weeks.

Top prices reported are in the region of €4.20/kg and higher for large numbers of excellent-quality ewes. The trade in many marts continues to edge ahead of the factory trade for heavy, large-framed and well-fleshed ewes.