Last week’s sheep kill (week ending July 16) settled back to levels seen before peak-buying for the Eid al-Adha festival.

Demand driven by the festival, which commenced on July 9, saw a busy week for factories, which resulted in a record kill of over 78,000 head.

However, since the end of buying for the festival, the trade has fallen back – as has throughput.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that 54,077 sheep were processed last week, a decrease of 24,087 head from the week before.

The number of hoggets processed continues to fall, with 754 head slaughtered last week.

Ewe and ram throughput witnessed an increase last week of 980 head, totalling 8,658 head.

Spring lamb supplies decreased last week, as expected, to 44,660 head, which represents a fall of 24,242 head on the previous week.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending July 16):

  • Hoggets: 754 head (-827 or -52.30%);
  • Ewes and rams: 8,658 head (+980 or +12.76%);
  • Spring lambs: 44,660 head (-24,242 or -35.18%);
  • Total: 54,077 head (-24,078 or -30.81%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 1,487,232 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 892,753 have been hoggets, 434,510 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (159,872) and a small portion of light lambs (97 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 over 134,533 head; 197,941 more hoggets have been processed, while 321 fewer ewes and rams have been slaughtered.

Spring lamb throughput remains down on this time last year by over 63,000 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending July 16):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 892,753 head (+197,941 or +28%);
  • Ewes and rams: 159,872head (-321 or 0.20%);
  • Spring lambs: 434,510 head (-63,079 or -13%);
  • Total: 1,487,232 head (+134,533 or +10%).