Exports of lambs from Northern Ireland (NI) to the Republic of Ireland (ROI) in 2022 are up 30% on 2021’s figures, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

For the week ending June 4, 2022, 4,132 lambs were exported from NI to the ROI for processing.

This brought the total number of lambs for export – up to the week ending June 4 – for slaughter to the ROI to 106,452 head, which is a 30% increase from this time last year.

However, this figure is 13,984 head behind the 2020 figure, but is similar to 2019 levels, the LMC added.

NI lamb/hogget throughput vs NI lambs/hoggets slaughtered in ROI from January to the week ending June4, 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019. Source: LMC

Lambs/hoggets exported to the ROI for direct slaughter made up for 41.4% of total lamb output from NI between January to June 4, 2022.

This is an increase from the same period in 2021 when the 81,501 lambs exported made up 35% of total output from the NI sheep flock, the LMC added.

From January until June 4, 2022, NI lambs/hoggets accounted for 10.3% of total lamb/hogget throughput in ROI meat processing plants, up slightly from 9.3% from the same period in 2021.