National sheep kill back 5% year-on-year

The weekly sheep kill is back 5% on the corresponding week last year with 62,213 sheep going to the factories, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

So far this year the sheep kill is 1% ahead on the same time last year with a throughput of 1,685,824 sheep to the factories.

For the week ending September 6, 2015, some 52,460 spring lambs were slaughtered in Irish factories.

This figure is back 2% (1,051 head) on the same week last year, but on a positive note the yearly spring lamb kill is up 9% 69,396 head more going to slaughter this year compared to last year.

The number of ewes and lambs going to the factory last week is back 6% on the week. Last week, 9,648 cull ewes and rams went to the factories, compared to 10,268 head that went to slaughter this time last year.

On a yearly basis, 30,923 less cull ewes and rams have been slaughtered this year compared to last year, a fall of 13%.

According to Bord Bia, the sheep trade remained firm this week and demand is expected to strengthen over the coming weeks on the back of the Eid al-Adha festival which takes place on September 23.

Base quotes for lamb were generally making between €4.60/kg and €4.65/kg, it said, with selected lots achieving higher prices while prices paid for culled ewes were making between €2.50/kg and €2.60/kg.

As the holiday season has now come to a close and schools are back there a noticeable lift in trade activity in France. The price for Grade 1 Irish lamb was up 5-10c/kg making €4.85/kg (DW incl. VAT) towards the end of the week, it said.