Week-on-week hogget kill posts another rise – Spring lamb numbers increase

The hogget kill increased again last week, with week-on-week throughput rising by 2%, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

During the week ending March 13, there were 38,047 hoggets slaughtered at Department approved export plants. This is up by 719 head on the previous week.

This rise in weekly throughput follows an 11% increase in hogget numbers during the week ending March 6 on the week before.

The increase in hogget numbers of the past two weeks has been cited by many procurement managers as the reason for the 540-550c/kg base hogget price.

Many procurement managers do not expect hogget prices to peak as Easter approaches, due to the strong numbers of hoggets available on the market.

The number of spring lambs being presented for slaughter is also starting to creep up, Department figures show.

And farmers can expect to be quoted 640c/kg for these lambs.

Department figures show that there were 2,391 spring lambs slaughtered last week, which has increased from 51 during the week ending March 6.

The largest week-on-week kill increase occurred in cull slaughterings.

According to the Department, the number of cull ewe and ram slaughterings increased by almost 15% during the week ending March 13 on the week before.

This 15% increase occurred as there were an extra 790 cast slaughterings at Department approved plants last week.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: +719 head
  • Spring lambs: +2,340 head
  • Ewes and rams: +790 head


Cumulative hogget kill up by 7%

The cumulative supply of hoggets so far this year is also 7% higher than the corresponding time in 2015, Department figures show.

From January 1 to March 13, the hogget kill has increased by about 23,000 on 2015 levels.

Spring lamb numbers are also higher so far this year, but this rise is most likely due to Easter being earlier this year compared to last year.

Like the week-on-week kill, cast slaughterings have also posted the highest increase so far this year.

The cumulative number of ewes and rams slaughtered so farm this year is 36% (+16,240 head) higher than the same time in 2015.