Last week’s sheep kill (week ending April 25) saw a sharp decline in throughput on the week before – with 8,301 less sheep processed, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show.

For the week ending April 25, 39,521 sheep were processed – which was a sharp fall from the 47,822 sheep slaughtered the week before.

Hogget throughput saw a big decrease on the week before, while on the other hand, spring lamb, ewe and ram throughput increased.

Looking at the kill figures in more detail, the number of hoggets processed for the week ending April 25, amounted to 25,217 head – which was a sharp fall of 12,356 on the week before.

Hogget supplies are decreasing week-on-week, with numbers at mart sales very small.

Once again, spring lamb throughput increased, totalling 8,317 head for the week ending April 25 – which was a rise of 3,072 head on the week before.

Ewe and ram throughput totalled 5,983 for the week ending April 25 – an increase of 984 head on the previous week.

  • Hoggets: 25,217 head (-12,356 or -32.88%);
  • Ewes and rams: 5,983 head (+984 or +19.68%);
  • Spring lambs: 8,317 head (+3,072 or +58.17%);
  • Total: 39,521 head (-8,301 or -17.35%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this years throughput figures to date, 724,151 sheep have been processed thus far.

Of that figure, 622,523 head have been hoggets, while 17,449 have consisted of spring lambs.

Data source: DAFM

Ewe and ram throughput makes up the rest at 84,085 head.

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 58,518 head.

56,338 fewer hoggets have been processed in comparison to the same period last year.

While 8,722 fewer ewes and rams have been slaughtered as well, with only spring lamb throughput seeing an increase on this time last year (up 6,466 head).

  • Lambs/hoggets: 622,523 head head (-56,338 or -8%);
  • Spring lambs: 17,449 head (+6,466 or +59%);
  • Ewes and rams: 84,085 head (-8,722 or -9%);
  • Total: 724,151 head (-58,518 or -7%).

Value of Irish sheepmeat increases

The value of sheepmeat exports for the first two months of 2021 is up 14% on 2020, with over €62 million worth of sheepmeat being exported, according to Bord Bia.