IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman James Murphy said the sheep trade continues to harden with factories paying up to €5.50/kg for quality hoggets. He said good quality hoggets at the marts are also in high demand with butchers, wholesalers and factories paying €133 to €135 per head.
James Murphy said as well as strong demand the trade is being driven by very scarce supplies. “It’s a sellers’ market. The lambs are simply not out there and feeders can set the price with the factories, who are desperate to get numbers.”
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said the kill for last week was down at just over 27,000 or back 5,000 head (-16%) on the same week last year.
On spring lambs, James Murphy said supplies will be very tight this year. In addition, he said costs have increased significantly since last year with feed, fertiliser and fuel prices all up dramatically.
Last year spring lamb prices opened at €130 per head or €6.50/kg. This year hoggets are already making this price and spring lambs deserve a premium of at least €20/head over hogget prices.
James Murphy said the ewe trade was also very strong with factory prices of €3.30/kg being paid.