Sheep supply to factories continues to fall

Overall sheep supply to Department of Agriculture approved processing plants continues to decline, with a fall of 1.7% recorded for the week ending October 30.

This decline continues despite a slight rise in the number of lambs that were sent to market.

This rise brings the number of lambs killed this week to 48,261, a figure which rose by 2.1% or 981 head compared to the week ending October 23.

The slide in ewe and ram supplies has gathered pace with the numbers dropping by 17.4%, after last weeks drop of over 1,000 head, to bring the number killed down to 9,024 head.

Source: DAFM
Source: DAFM

The fall in ewes going to market can be attributed largely to the base price offered which remains unchanged at 220-230c/kg at most factories nationwide this week.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:

  • Lambs: +981 head or +2.1%
  • Ewes: -1,902 head or -17.4%
  • Total: -1,154 head or -1.7%

Increase in total sheep kill

The overall kill for the year-to-date has crept ahead of last years total for the same period.

Standing at 2,176,286 head for the week ending October 30, the figure is 1% higher than the 2015 equivalent.

Spring lambs again buck the overall trend with a fall of 7% on the same period in 2015.

The shortfall of 92,486 head of lambs is made up for by a combination of hoggets and ewes which have increased in supply by 7% and 24% respectively.

Year-on-year sheep kill

  • Lambs: -92,486 head or -7%
  • Ewes: +61,481 head or +24%
  • Total: +11,526 head or +1%