UK sheep meat production fell sharply in June

UK Sheep meat production fell sharply in June following lower lamb slaughterings and a fall in average carcase weights, according to latest figures from the AHDB.

Lamb slaughterings during the month were 7% lower than in June 2015 at 1m head. The average carcase weight for lambs was also significantly lower in June, falling by 1.4kg compared to the same month in 2015 to 18.4kg.

According to the AHDB, this is thought to be due to the wetter weather so far this year meaning lambs have been harder to finish to as high weights as last year. This resulted in the total production of lamb in the month being down by 13% at 18,400 tonnes.

It also says there has also been a revision to the figures reported the previous month, with lamb slaughterings revised downwards to 819,200 head, a fall of 10% compared to the 4% previously reported.

This means that overall UK lamb slaughterings in the first six months of the year were down by 7% compared to the same period in 2015 at 5.4m head.

Cull Ewes

While lamb slaughterings declined in June, adult sheep slaughterings in the UK continued to be up, rising by 2% compared to the previous year to 135,200 head, according to the AHDB. However, average carcase weights were down by 0.9kg to 26.6kg.

This meant that the overall volume of adult sheep meat produced in June was down by 1% at 3,600 tonnes. Overall adult sheep slaughterings in the first six months of 2016 were 8% higher than the same period in 2015 at 783,600 head.

This all meant that total sheep meat production in June was down by 11% at 22,000 tonnes. However, a higher share of this came from adult sheep than in the previous year.

Overall sheep meat production in the first six months of 2016 was 8% lower than in the same period in 2015 at 125,000 tonnes, according to the AHDB figures.