Numbers of hogget ewes forward at sales throughout the country is starting to drop and with it is coming a mix in quality type.
Mart managers highlighted over the past week that quality was “up and down”, with prices reflecting this.
While previously not under as much pressure as other sheep types, hoggets were this week generally back €5/head.
Demand by agents and farmer buyers is keeping the fed hogget of 50kg-plus trading from €135 to €160, with select lots still able to surpass €170/head on occasion.
That said, the mixed quality meant that a number of lighter store hoggets in need of significant feeding were also on offer. These hoggets started at €95 and sold up to €120, while slightly better-fed lots, still under the 50kg mark, were from around €130 to €140.
The best quality lambs on offer and those hitting 50kg-plus were generally secured by butchers
Butcher and wholesale demand for good-quality spring lambs is holding up remarkably well. This demand is generally for lambs with carcase weights above that of the weight limits applied by factories, so lambs of liveweights upwards of 46kg.
Prices paid for these generally saw no change or a slight increase on the week, with fleshed lambs ranging from €150 to €162.
The best quality lambs on offer and those hitting 50kg-plus were generally secured by butchers, with as high as €179 paid, but generally around €170/head was the cap.
This sustained demand for heavier lambs is reflecting well on lighter lambs too. While these were most affected last week with prices back €5 to €8/head, this seems to have stabilised well.
Heavy fleshed ewes in excess of 90kg were most in demand
Lambs around that 40kg to 42kg mark continue to be most sought after by factory agents, with around €140 to €150 the general price. Some super-conformed lots were seen making over €150, while some lambs lacking flesh dropped below €140.
Ewe trade this week can be described as quiet firm, with buying for next week’s Ramadan festival adding a bit more bite into demand in recent days.
Heavy fleshed ewes in excess of 90kg were most in demand and could be seen making as high as €160/head. Lighter or older ewes weighing up to 75kg started trading anywhere from €95 to €115. Similar to last week, that middle ground ewe from 80kg to 90kg was from €120 to €140.