The sheep trade has moved on over the last week, with prices rising by €3 to €5/head. Competition for hoggets has been helped by a further reduction in throughput and factory agents keen to maintain their share of the market.

Hoggets which were in the previous week struggling to exceed a price of €155/head have seen the price limit that factories are reluctant to cross increase to €158 to €160/head.

Prices paid for hoggets weighing 47kg to 49kg are from €147 to €152/head on average

The general run of prices for hoggets weighing 50kg to 54kg is ranging from €154 to €160/head, with heavier and excellent-quality hoggets increasing on occasion to €165 to €170/head. Likewise, hoggets lacking flesh are selling back to €150/head.

Prices paid for hoggets weighing 47kg to 49kg are from €147 to €152/head on average, while factory agents have no hesitation in dropping down in the weight for fleshed hoggets, with prices for lots in the region of 44kg to 45kg ranging from €143 to €148/head and higher on occasion.

Ewes

Ewes were also a vibrant trade, with live exporters and wholesale buyers continuing to compete with factory agents.

Live exporters are most interested in heavy fleshed ewes and medium-weight top-quality ewes which are well conformed and have a high kill-out percentage.

Heavy fleshed ewes weighing in excess of 90kg are selling on average from €150 to €180/head, with small numbers of ewes weighing upwards of 100kg, some of which are being offered individually, selling to €200/head.

There has also been isolated instances of heavy ewes and rams selling to a top of €220 to €230/head for lots weighing up to 120kg live.

The trade for ewes with lambs at foot is solid

Medium-weight ewes weighing in the region of 80kg to 85kg are trading from €120 to €150, while light ewes weighing upwards of 70kg liveweight are selling from €100 to €130 depending on flesh cover.

The trade for ewes with lambs at foot is solid. Twin lamb units range in general from €220 to €270, with units comprising young ewes or large-framed ewes with strong lambs selling to €320 to €330 per unit.

Likewise, small numbers of plain-quality ewes are selling back to €180. Single-lamb lots are trading in the main from €150 to €200, with the best quality lots to €220 to €230 per unit.