The national sheep kill is 5% ahead of last year, with 62,064 sheep going to Irish factories last week, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

Cumulatively, sheep throughput is 1% ahead of last year with 1.5m sheep slaughtered for the week ending August 23.

Spring lamb throughput is up 10% on last year, with 4,805 head more spring lambs going to slaughter last week compared to the corresponding week last year.

Compared to last year the number of rams and sheep going through the factories last week was down 7% on last year, with 8,567 head going to the factories last week.

The number of lambs/hoggets is also down on last year with a throughput of only 89 for the week ending August 23.

According to Bord Bia, the sheep trade remains steady on the back of good demand with some increase in supplies reported.

A mixed trade was reported across our key export markets, it said.

Base quotes for lamb were generally making between €4.60/kg and €4.70/kg Bord Bia said, with selected lots achieving higher prices while prices paid for culled ewes were generally making between €2.40/kg and €2.50/kg.

Ireland remains the biggest competitor to the UK in the EU when it comes to sheepmeat exports to other Member States, with over two thirds of Irish sheepmeat being exported, AHDB, the organisation for the English beef and sheep industry, says.

Ireland’s largest market for sheepmeat exports is France, with the UK its second largest destination for exports, it says.

Weekly sheep kill