Prices for quality-assured hoggets have reached €7.30-7.40/kg, with deals to €7.50/kg, according to IFA national sheep committee chairman, Sean Dennehy.
He outlined that higher deals are available for groups and larger lots. Meanwhile, cull ewes are making from €2.80-€3.20/kg.
“Factory demand is strong with supply numbers remaining tight,” he said.
Dennehy said the mart trade continues to strengthen, with strong competition for the limited supply of hoggets available.
He stated that “farmers should sell hard, while moving hoggets as they become fit”.
Meanwhile, in other news, IFA national livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, has said “factories have no excuses left”.
On the back of this, he believes farmers should demand immediate beef price increases to reflect the market’s strength, the removal of Brexit uncertainty, and the growing demand for beef.
He spoke following the UK Government’s announcement of a revised timetable for SPS checks and controls. He said this removes uncertainty in Ireland’s key export for the coming months.
“Factories can continue to access the market without the uncertainty of the impact of additional checks and controls that were scheduled for April and July.”
“This is a very positive development for beef sales, and the clarity must be returned in higher prices to farmers.”
Golden believes the strong demand for beef in that market must come through in beef prices.
He described the additional access to the Japanese market for minced beef as a “positive development” for beef exports. Once again, he believes this must translate into higher returns.
Golden said numbers are tight, and UK supplies are predicted to drop by 5% in 2021. Besides, beef sales in supermarkets continue to show both volume and value growth.
“Easter will increase demand in supermarkets, and the gradual re-opening of the foodservice sector as vaccinations are rolled out will further increase demand for beef.”
He said factories are paying €3.80/kg for steers, up to €3.90/kg for heifers this week.
According to Golden, factories are “prepared to do deals for larger numbers” above these levels, including paying increased breed bonuses.
According to Golden, beef factories are quoting €3.70/kg to €3.95/kg. He reported that cows are selling from €3.00/kg to €3.50/kg – depending on grade.