Last week the weekly sheep kill in Ireland was 58,098, back 5% from the 61,274 head slaughtered in the corresponding week last year, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.
Looking at the yearly figures, however, the sheep kill is up 1% with 1,946,449 head going to the factories for the week ending October 4, 2015.
This compares to the 1,935,953 head that were slaughtered at the corresponding period last year.
Throughput of lambs and hoggets remains down with 152 head going to the factories last week compared to 1,541 head that were slaughtered at the same period last year.
This a drop 90% when the two years are compared. On a yearly basis the number of lambs and hoggets is back 34,524 head.
Looking to the throughput of spring lambs, last week there was a drop of 2,258 head on the corresponding week last year. Cumulatively the spring lamb kill is up 86,299 head (9%) on the same period last year.
Ewe and ram throughput last week was up 6% last week on the same week last year, with 590 head more slaughtered last week.
On a yearly basis however, there has been a drop of 40,091 head with the ewe and ram kill for the year now standing at 228,759 head.
Light lamb throughput last week was down 52% on the corresponding week last year, with 109 head going to the factories. On a yearly basis the throughput of light lambs is down 54% to on the corresponding period last year.
The price paid for lambs has slipped slightly on previous weeks with lots back by €1-2/head, as the factory price cut is now being felt in the ring.
Despite this relative drop of €1-2/head, the lighter store lamb remains in good demand, according to the country’s mart managers.
There has also been a noticeable reduction in the number and quality of breeding hogget ewes coming forward as the breeding sales come towards an end.