Last week’s sheep kill (week ending November 27) saw a decrease of 5,362 head on the previous week, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal.

Last week saw factories attempt to cool down the trade and ease prices back; however, these figures from the DAFM show that this tactic slowed up the numbers of lambs coming forward for slaughter – with farmers holding out and not panicking into drafting lambs for slaughter.

This, as a result, has seen factory prices lift this week and further outline how strong the demand is at present.

Looking at the figures in more detail for the week ending November 27, 49,329 sheep were processed – a decrease of 5,362 head from the week before.

The number of lambs slaughtered during the week ending November 27, fell heavily and amounted to 43,095 head, which is a decrease of 4,544 head from the week previous.

Ewe and ram throughput witnessed a decline of 843 head and came to 6,180 head for the week ending November 27.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending November 27):

  • Hoggets: 54 head (+25 or +86%);
  • Ewes and rams: 6,180 head (-843 or -12%);
  • Spring lambs: 43,095 head (-4,544 or -9.53%);
  • Total: 49,329 head (-5,362 or -9.8%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 2,467,193 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 697,955 have been hoggets; lambs comprised 1,441,187; with the rest being made up of ewes and rams (327,992).

Source: DAFM

If we compare figures to date this year, against the same period in 2020, we can see that the total number of sheep slaughtered is back by 119,317 head; 93,128 fewer hoggets have been processed; and 22,074 fewer ewes and rams were slaughtered as well.

Spring lamb throughput is also back on the same period in 2020 by 4,181 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending November 27):

  • Hoggets: 697,955 head (-93,128 or -12%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,441,187 head (-4,181 or 0%);
  • Ewes and rams: 327,992 head (-22,074 or -6%);
  • Total: 2,467,193 head (-117,930 or -5%).