Lamb supplies increase slightly with 44,700 head slaughtered last week

Lamb supplies have continued to climb with an additional 479 slaughtered at Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants last week.

According to figures from the Department of Agriculture, just over 44,700 lambs were slaughtered in Ireland last week, an increase of 1% compared to the week before.

Last week’s increase means that lamb supplies have risen during both the second and third week of August, bringing the total kill for the month to 124,393 head.

The increase in spring lamb supplies may be linked to some steadying in the factory lamb trade, with most plants now offering 460c/kg lambs.

Lamb supplies dropped in late July and early August as many farmers opted to market their lambs in the mart to avoid taking the lower factory price offered at the time.

But, over the past two weeks lamb prices have steadied and lamb supplies have increased.

Looking at the remainder of the weekly sheep kill, figures from the Department show that both ewe and ram and hogget slaughterings were slightly up last week.

It shows that an additional 78 ewes and rams were slaughtered, while the weekly hogget kill jumped by 31 head compared to the week before.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: +31 head (+31%)
  • Spring lambs: +479 head (+1%)
  • Ewes and lambs: +78 head (+1%)
  • Total: +593 head (+1%)

Sheep slaughterings up in 2016

Figures from the Department also show that an extra 14,700 (+1%) sheep have been slaughtered this year compared to the same time last year.

The majority of is due to extra hogget and cast slaughterings, which are up by 7% and 21% respectively.

However, lamb throughput continues to lag behind 2015, with 64,132 fewer slaughtered so far this year.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: +42,558 head (+7%)
  • Spring lambs: -64,132 head (-9%)
  • Ewes and rams: +36,580 head (+21%)
  • Total: +14,700 head (+1%)