The trade for hoggets has by and large failed to live up to producer expectations of higher prices.
This belief was founded on a stronger trade for hoggets and lambs, but, in general, prices have followed closely in line with 2020 levels.
Average hogget prices are running slightly lower, while ewe lamb prices are trending higher.
This is partly due to an increase in the number of farmers operating a dry hogget enterprise, while reports also suggest some producers lambing ewes who would normally purchase higher numbers fearing an increase in prices and retaining more homebred replacements.
Medium-sized lots are trading from €160 to €175
The general run of prices for good-quality hoggets is ranging from €180 to €200, with a selection of top-quality hoggets still capable of rising to €220 to €230 per head.
Medium-sized lots are trading from €160 to €175, with light and plainer-quality hoggets falling back to €150 to head.
Meanwhile, ewe lambs are trading from €120 to €140 for lambs weighing 40kg and upwards, with light lambs in special sales weighing back to 30kg still typically selling from €95 to €110.
The trade for heavier ewe lambs has been helped in recent weeks by lamb prices running ahead of 2020 levels.
There is a significant difference between prices paid for factory-type lambs and wholesale/butcher-type lambs
Factory-fit lambs weighing 44kg to 47kg are trading in the main from €114 to €120, with some better-quality lambs weighing 48kg to 49kg selling to €126 to €128.
Agents are keen to get their hands on lambs, but remain reluctant to get drawn into a bidding war.
Fleshed top-quality lambs weighing 50kg to 54kg are selling from €130 to €140
There is a significant difference between prices paid for factory-type lambs and wholesale/butcher-type lambs in sales with a good wholesale /butcher trade.
Fleshed top-quality lambs weighing 50kg to 54kg are selling from €130 to €140, with a handful of excellent-quality types in cases topping the €140 mark this week.
Meanwhile, forward lowland stores weighing from 38kg to 41kg are trading from €95 to €110 per head, with quality having a massive influence on price.
Lighter stores weighing 35kg to 36kg are selling in the region of €80 to €92 per head, with crossbred and hill types selling from €2/kg to €2.20/kg to €2.40/kg for better-quality types.