The weekly sheep kill fell again last week, further indicating the tightening of supplies of finished lambs.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that 53,543 sheep were processed last week (week ending November 26), which is a decrease of over 4,000 head from the week prior.

All categories of the kill witnessed a decline on the week previous.

Spring lamb supplies totalled 46,299 head, a decrease of nearly 2,000 head on the previous week, while ewe and ram throughput tallied 6,749 head, a decrease of nearly over 2,100 head on the week prior.

The number of hoggets processed decreased to 489 head.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending November 26):

  • Hoggets: 489 head (-164 or -25.11%);
  • Ewes and rams: 6,749 head (-2,190 or -24.49%);
  • Spring lambs: 46,299 head (-1,877 or -3.89%);
  • Total: 53,543 head (-4,225 or -8.90%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 2,636,851 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 904,735 have been hoggets, 1,377,396 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (354,573) and a small portion of light lambs (147 head).

Source: DAFM

If we compare figures to date this year, against the same period in 2021, we can see that the total number of sheep slaughtered is up by nearly 170,000 head; 206,345 more hoggets have been processed, while ewe and ram throughput is up on last year’s levels by over 26,000 head.

Spring lamb throughput remains behind on this time last year by nearly 64,000 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending November 26):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 904,735 head (+206,780 or +30%);
  • Ewes and rams: 354,573 head (+26,651 or +8%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,377,396 head (-63,791 or -4%);
  • Total: 2,636,851 head (+169,658 or +7%).