HOGGET prices continued relatively stable at the factories this week, with only minor changes in quoted prices, although demand appears to have weakened a little, reflecting the trend on the continent.
Quoted prices for hoggets, which weakened through the second half of last week, recovered most of the decline when the week’s trade opening on Monday, leaving prices on offer to producers either steady or no more than 3 cents/kg back on the beginning of the previous week.
The base price on Monday was 342 or 341 cents/kg (122p) and this price held for Tuesday’s kill, although fewer factories were operating.
In the marts, prices were improved, with gains of up to €3 per head, but the trade was more difficult for the heavy hoggets.
In Britain, hoggets were selling at the equivalent of €20 over €1/kg, with a weakening in the demand for exporters.
This resulted from a weaker market in France, where demand is not matching the strong supply available. The supply there of Lacaune milk lambs has increased, and the week also coincided with the school mid-term break, which reduced demand. Irish lamb was selling at 360 to 370 cents/kg.
In the marts here in Ireland, there were 400 head on offer at Fermoy on Monday, where there was a good trade for butchers hoggets at prices ranging from €18 over to €35 over. Factory lots sold at €10 to €18 over.
There were almost 1,000 head on offer at Kilkenny Mart, which was back on the previous week, but the trade was improved by €2 or €3/head for the general run, with the heavy hoggets a harder sell. The butchers hoggets sold for up to €31 over with a similar strong trade for the best of the factory lots.