Lamb kill down again year-on-year

Lamb kill down again year-on-year

According to the latest data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), UK sheep meat production once again declined sharply on the year.

In August 2021, production totalled 22,800 tonnes, down 16% (4,500 tonnes).

Lamb kill recorded a 18% (228,600 head) decline, to 1,010,700 head. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said that the current figures are “exceptionally low for the time of year and below expectations in AHDB’s forecast.”

Ewe kill has also again been recorded at low levels, down 14% (16,800 head) year-on-year, to 105,900 head. AHDB reported that there have been concerns in recent months over the accuracy of Defra’s data as ewe kill is “significantly more modest than in other recent months.”

Estimated British slaughterings, produced each week by AHDB using data from the deadweight lamb price collection survey, suggested that a sharp decline would be recorded in the Defra data.

In the year-to-date, lamb kill totals 7,255,200 head, down almost 900,000 head on the same period last year. AHDB reported that the figures are currently around one month’s national kill during the spring or early summer. Ewe kill is down 222,100 head (around six weeks national kill) at 741,400 head. Total sheep meat production in the year-to August stands at 166,600 tonnes, a 11% (21,000 tonnes) decline.

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