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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Sheep trade: Up to €7.10/kg for hoggets

According to the IFA, sheep factories have increased hogget prices by 10c/kg this week.

Its sheep committee chairman, Kevin Comiskey, said the price increase comes on the back of a struggle to secure supplies.

He reported factory agents were “very active” over the weekend as supplies on the ground tighten.

Comiskey added that plants are offering higher prices and deals on transport to buy hoggets.

“Hoggets are making €7.00/kg to €7.10/kg with higher deals for groups and larger lots. Cull ewes have also risen in price with €3.70/kg being paid,” Kevin Comiskey said.

He said the tighter supplies of finished hoggets is also evident in mart sales.

“Prices for finished hoggets and cull ewes are easily competing with factory prices and providing a competitive alternative for farmers.”

“Numbers of suitably finished hoggets are tight, market demand is strong, and farmers should sell hard in a rising market,” he concluded.

Update on beef prices this week

In other news, the IFA has urged farmers to “shop around and sell hard” as beef factories continue to compete for supplies.

According to IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, plants have increased quotes by a further 5c/kg this week.

He reported that base prices for steers are ranging from €4.45-€4.55/kg, while heifers are varying from €4.50-€4.60/kg.

He said there are “higher” deals available for larger lots of in-spec cattle, in particular.

Cow prices have also increased, which, he stated, reflects the “strong” demand for manufacturing beef.

P grades are starting at €3.70/kg with what he described as “good quality beef-bred” cows making up to €4.20/kg.

On the other hand, young bulls (R/U grades) are varying from €4.40-€4.60/kg.

The IFA livestock chairman said factories must maintain the upward trajectory of beef prices in 2022 to offset the “enormous” cost increases (Teagasc estimates hikes of up to 65c/kg on some farms) that beef farmers are facing this year.

“Beef prices in our main export markets, the UK and EU, are strong,” he said.

He said increased activity in the UK foodservice sector is driving demand for processed beef, in particular.

Golden added that with reduced production forecasted for the EU, it creates “positive” market conditions for Irish beef.

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