Irish sheep kill up 7,605 on last year, but down last week

Sheep throughput to factories for the week ending July 5, 2015 was down 3,100 head for the corresponding week last year, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

The national sheep kill up to July 5, 2015 is 7,605 above the same 26 weeks last year, the Department says.

Hogget slaughterings for the week ending July 5 were down 191 from the same week last year.

Year-on-year hogget slaughterings are down 17,123, figures from the Department show.

The spring lamb kill is up 47,977 year-on-year with 376,867 sheep going to the factories this year already compared to 328,890 for the same week last year.

The throughput of ewes and rams is also down compared to the same week last year with 22,632 less going to the factory than last year.

On a weekly basis however, the national ewe and ram kill was above the last years kill with 1,036 head more slaughtered last week.

Easter saw the Irish sheep kill in March significantly ahead of last year, while the kill was down 3% in April.

Exports

Ireland remains the biggest competitor to the UK in the EU when it comes to sheepmeat exports to other Member States, with over two thirds of Irish sheepmeat being exported, AHDB, the organisation for the English beef and sheep industry, says.

Ireland’s largest market for sheepmeat exports is France, with the UK its second largest destination for exports, it says.

It says that the proportion of Irish lamb exported as cuts has continued to increase, in the first four months of 2015 up 1% to 78% of all trade, the rest being in the form of carcases.

This compares to almost 40% of lamb being exported as cuts from the UK and shipments to the UK, the second largest market were up 5% at 2,800t, it says.

Sheep kill
Image: Department of Agriculture

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