Ewe and ram throughput up 19% in the space of a week

The number of cast ewes and rams slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved plants jumped 19% last week.

During the week ending June 19, 6,865 ewes and rams were slaughtered in Ireland, almost 1,100 head higher than the week before.

However, despite the jump in cast ewe throughput, the number of spring lambs slaughtered last week remained similar to the week before, only increasing by 41 head.

Farmers sending spring lambs to slaughter this week faced lower prices, as factories moved to cut the spring lamb price by 20c/kg earlier this week.

Most sheep factories were offering a base price of 480c/kg for spring lambs on the back of strong supplies.

Meanwhile, hogget numbers continue to tighten, with just 1,349 head slaughtered in Department approved plants last week. This is 583 head lower than the week before.

Source: Department of Agriculture
Source: Department of Agriculture

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:

  • Hoggets: -538 head (-30%)
  • Spring lambs: +41 head (0%)
  • Ewes and rams: +1,101 (+19%)
  • Total: +558 head (+1%)

Cumulative sheep supplies

Figures from the Department of Agriculture also indicate that the number of sheep slaughtered in Ireland so far this year is 6% (63,006 head) higher than the same time in 2015.

The majority of this increase is due to a jump in hogget slaughterings, which are up by 7% or 42,113 head so far this year compared to the corresponding time last year.

It also shows that the cumulative number of cast ewes and rams slaughtered this year has increased by 32,025, while spring lamb throughput decreased by 4% or 10,743 head.