Farm Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2017

€5/kg is the new base for hoggets

Joe Healy

All bar one of the sheep processors are on a base of €5/kg this week, with Dawn Ballyhaunis being the bolter on an all-in quote of 504c/kg for quality assured (QA) stock.

Taking a glance at the table you will see that Kildare Chilling, by virtue of their extra QA bonus on top of the normal U grade bonus, had them shading it by a head on a base of 500c/kg plus 5c/kg for QA stock and 5c/kg for the Us. This left them on 510c/kg for suitable lambs. The ICMs and the Kepak plants are offering 500c/kg plus the U bonus, while Moyvalley are on an all-in 500c/kg.

This is the seventh straight week of improvements to the quotes, with those figures mentioned representing a rise of between 20-30c/kg on last week. Better still, the quotes are only a guide as most sellers are negotiating prices well in excess of the €5/kg, with anything from 525c/kg to 550c/kg being paid as factories remain extremely anxious to source stock.

The first few new season lambs that I have heard about being killed were in Kepak Athleague, with €6/kg mentioned as a quote and a desire for lambs to kill out between 16kg and19kg.

Commenting on the trade, IFA sheep committee chairman, James Murphy, said that lamb prices continue to rise significantly with wholesalers and factories paying up to 550c/kg for stock. He added that the domestic market is very strong with wholesalers driving the trade forward. The ICM plants lead the way on the quotes for the cull ewes. A jump of 10c/kg moves them up to 250c/kg. Kepak Hacketstown and Dawn Ballyhaunis are on 245c/kg, while Athleague and Kildare Chilling are quoting 240c/kg. Moyvalley are not quoting.

The trade on the far side of the Duck Pond was also improved significantly.


Good demand and improved prices was the general feedback from the sheep marts over the past week. Lamb prices were up by anything from €5 to €12/hd. The heavy butcher-type lamb was making €60-70 over the €1/kg, while the factory lamb sold for €50-60 over.

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Stores were selling for anything from €40-55 with the weight. Heavy cull ewes were making up to and over the €100, with some top ewes making up to €128. Ewes with a lamb or lambs at foot made from €130 to €230.

The best price I came across was in Kilkenny where a pen of lambs weighing 56kg made €133 or €77 with the €1/kg. Most of the heavy lambs made between €50-75 over. The factory lambs were making from €45-65 over the weight. Cull ewe prices ranged from €57 to €117.

Yesterday's sale in Athenry saw a top of €74 over the €1/kg. Lambs weighing 46kg sold for €120. Generally the heavier lots moved at €58-68 with the weight. The 40-45kg lamb was making from €48-55 over. Down in Fermoy, the heavy lambs were selling for €40-50 over.

Dowra Mart reported a much improved sheep trade last Saturday, with the best of the lambs making €90-111 each. Stores sold from €60 to €90. Ewes with single lambs at foot made €100-160. Ewes with twins ranged from €150 to €210.

Prices were up by a massive €10-12/hd down at Enniscorthy Mart. Butcher lambs were selling for €105-125 or €60-70 with their weight. Factory types made €50-60 over the €1/kg. Store prices ran from €65 to €90/hd. Breeding ewes with twin lambs at foot were making €170-225.

Mountbellew had increased numbers of sheep on offer and reported a strong trade for all lots. Old-season lambs were up by €5-7/hd on the previous week. Cull ewes also met with firm trade and there was increased demand for ewes with lambs at foot. Finished lambs were making €60-70 with their weight. Store prices varied from €65 to €88. Trade was also improved at Baltinglass Mart with prices up by as much as €5/hd. Heavy lambs between 50-60kg made up to €125 each. The 40-45kg lots sold to €118. Stores hit a high of €80. The best of the cull ewes made up to €90.

There was a much bigger sale of 2,200 sheep at Carnew Mart, with prices up by €5-7/hd. Finished lambs sold for prices of between €108 and €125. Store prices ran from €78 to €105. Cull ewes sold for €55-128.

Irish Independent