Last week’s sheep kill (week ending November 13) saw a decrease of 1,943 head on the previous week, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal.

This dip in throughput further outlines the tightness of supplies of finished lambs and explains why lamb prices have continued to increase due to strong market demand.

Looking at the figures in more detail for the week ending November 13, 55,737 sheep were processed – a decrease of 1,943 head from the week before.

The number of lambs slaughtered during the week ending November 13, dipped slightly and amounted to 48,198 head, which is a decrease of 134 head from the week previous.

Ewe and ram throughput witnessed a substantial fall of 1,786 head and came to 7,483 head for the week ending November 13.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending November 13):

  • Hoggets: 53 head (-25 or -32%);
  • Ewes and rams: 7,483 head (-1,786 or -19.26%);
  • Spring lambs: 48,198 head (-134 or -0.27%);
  • Total: 55,737 head (-1,943 or -3.36%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 2,363,173 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 697,872 have been hoggets; lambs comprised 1,350,453; with the rest – 314,719 – made up of ewes and rams.

Image 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 117,268 head; 92,347 fewer hoggets have been processed; and 20,014 fewer ewes and rams were slaughtered as well.

Spring lamb throughput is also back on the same period in 2020 by 4,976 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending November 13):

  • Hoggets: 697,872 head (-92,347 or -12%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,350,453 head (-4,976 or 0.002%);
  • Ewes and rams: 314,719 head (-20,014 or -6%);
  • Total: 2,363,173 head (-117,268 or -5%).