Farm Ireland

Monday 21 January 2019

Factories: Hogget prices rise 25c/kg as positive cycle gathers pace


Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

The factory sheep trade pushed into further positive territory this week as hogget price increased by as much as 25c/kg. All the factories quoted a minimum of €6.00/kg for hogget, while Kildare Chilling moved to €6.10+10c/kg bonus, just ahead of both Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Athleague, who are on €6.05/kg + 5c/kg bonus.

While both Dawn and Kepak are just off the Kildare price by 5c/kg, both plants were the biggest movers on price over the weekend, raising their hogget quotes by 25c/kg.

Just behind Kepak are the two ICMs on €6.00+bonuses for hogget, also up 20c/kg on last week. Moyvalley are the only factory to leave their hogget quote unchanged but they would argue that their quote of €6.00/kg from last week had left everyone else playing catch-up.

On the spring lamb side, Moyvalley fare better, tying with Kildare Chilling on a €7.00/kg base, although Kildare's 10c/kg quality bonuses tip the scales in their favour. Next up are the two ICMs who come in at €6.90+10c/kg bonus, while both Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis are on a straight €6.90/kg for lamb.

The positives from both the hogget and spring lamb sides of the trade spill over into the cull ewe trade, with Kepak pushing their price for culls up by 20c/kg to €3.30/kg, while Kildare Chilling add 10c/kg to their ewe price bringing it to €3.10+10c/kg bonus.

While Dawn Ballyhaunis and the two ICMs don't move off last week's price of €3.00/kg, I expect the pressure to pay that bit more may mount, especially as they are all now 30c/kg behind Kepak's quote, which I'm told is in line with what is actually being paid.

The IFA and ICSA sheep chairmen, Sean Dennehy and John Brooks respectively, are in agreement that supplies are tight and that the general run of hogget prices is from €6.10-6.20/kg, with €6.30 rumoured as having been secured by those with bigger numbers.

Kill figures

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The ICSA man was slightly ahead of his IFA counterpart in his estimate of where the price of new season/spring lamb is at, quoting a top of €7.30/kg to Mr Dennehy's €7.20/kg.

Looking at the latest figures from Bord Bia, it appears that the trade is picking up significant speed.

Those figures show that slaughterings this year to March 17 were up 3.5pc on the same period for 2017. By March 31, that gap had grown to 5.2pc or a total of just over 33,000 above the figure for 2017.

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