Lamb production down again

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

By Rebecca Wright

During August, UK sheep meat production once again declined sharply on the year, according to the latest Defra data. Production for the month totalled 22,800 tonnes, down 16% (4,500 tonnes).

Lamb kill recorded a 18% (228,600 head) decline, to 1,010,700 head. This is exceptionally low for the time of year and below expectations in AHDB’s forecast. Estimated British slaughterings, produced each week by AHDB using data from the deadweight lamb price collection survey, did imply that a sharp decline would be recorded in the Defra data.

Ewe kill has once again been recorded at low levels, down 14% (16,800 head) year-on-year, to 105,900 head. There have been concerns in recent months over the accuracy of the Defra ewe kill is significantly more modest than in other recent months.

In the year-to-date, lamb kill totals 7,255,200 head, down almost 900,000 head on the same period last year. This is equivalent to 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.

Image of staff member Rebecca Wright

Rebecca Wright

Analyst - Red Meat

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