Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Almost half of Northern Ireland’s lambs slaughtered in the Republic

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

With the strengthening of euro against sterling in recent months there has been an increase in the proportion of Northern Ireland origin lambs exported to Republic of Ireland for direct slaughter.

Exports during the six weeks ending 29 October 2016 totalled 48,798 head, accounting for 44pc of total lamb output from Northern producers.

While the number of lambs exported has remained steady year on year, exports for direct slaughter accounted for a larger proportion of total Northern lamb output in the 2016 period.

Lamb trade

According to Bord Bia, the sheep trade for the week ending November 4 remains slow amid higher throughputs and reduced demand in key export markets.

It says base quotes for lamb were generally making around €4.30/kg to €4.40/kg with selected lots gaining higher returns while prices for culled ewes were generally making around €2.20/kg to €2.30/kg.

Meanwhile supplies at sheep export meat plants for the week ending October 29 were standing at over 57,000 head which was up significantly compared to the corresponding week in 2015.

So far this year, cumulative supplies are up 1% or almost 12,000 head on 2015 levels at over 2.17 million head.

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Cumulatively for the year to date hoggets and adult sheep are up 7pc and 24pc respectively on 2015 levels while spring lambs are back 7pc.

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