Almost 50% of Northern Irish lambs slaughtered down south in November

Approximately 50% of the Northern Irish lamb supply was slaughtered in the Republic of Ireland during the month of November.

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), some 47% of all Northern Irish lambs were slaughtered in Irish plants last month.

This means that in the region of 43,000 Northern-Irish origin lambs were bought and slaughtered by Irish processors in the month of November.

It also shows that the share of Northern Irish lambs slaughtered in the Republic increased during the first two weeks of December, with Northern Irish lamb exports to the south sitting at 18,745 head – nearly 52% of the North’s available lamb supply.

This is also a 2,131 head or 12.8% jump on the corresponding two week period in 2015.

Price difference

The increase in the number of Northern Irish lambs slaughtered in the Republic of Ireland during the first two weeks of November may be attributed to a higher lamb price down south.

Figures from the LMC show that Irish lambs made an average price of 374.95p/kg (447.35c/kg), while lambs slaughtered in Northern plants made 374.8p/kg (447.17c/kg).

This trend was also evident during the month of November, when the average Irish lamb price stood at 371.05p/kg (442.69c/kg), while lambs slaughtered in Northern Ireland made 370.35p/kg (441.86c/kg).

Irish sheepmeat exports to France and UK climb

Meanwhile, the volume of Irish sheepmeat exported to both the UK and France climbed during the first three quarters of 2016, according to the AHDB (the body for English beef and lamb).

The AHDB says that Irish exports of fresh and frozen sheepmeat have been above year earlier levels for eight of the nine months in the first three quarters of 2016, with the volume shipped sitting at 35,500t – an increase of 13% on the same period in 2015.

Looking at the volumes of Irish sheepmeat shipped to France, the AHDB says Ireland has been particularly successful in this market, with volumes up 21% during the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same time last year.

It also indicates that the volume of Irish product shipped to our nearest trading partner has climbed in 2016.

Between January and September, it says, Irish exporters shipped 8,260t of product across the Irish sea, an increase of 5% on the same time in 2015.

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