Sheep prices fall, throughputs lower

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Both liveweight and deadweight sheep prices fell in the latest week, although there were lower throughputs in the markets, and a lower estimated slaughter. Similar to other meat sectors there are various challenges currently which may be bring downward pressure to prices.

  • Ongoing staff shortages for the slaughter line and boning hall
  • Lorry driver shortages across the supply chain.
  • There are also reports that demand from the continent is limited at the moment.

The GB liveweight SQQ fell by nearly 5p in the week ending 22 September, to average 218.19p/kg. Auction market throughputs were 100,400 head, 8% lower than in the previous week and over a fifth lower than the same week last year.


Deadweight prices didn’t fair any better, falling by 18.5p/kg in the week ending 18 September to average 508.4p/kg. Estimated slaughter at GB abattoirs was 238,500 head, 1% fewer than in the previous week and 8% down on the same week last year. Estimated clean sheep slaughter in the year so far is 7.8 million head, 11% down on 2020. In a typical year we would now be in the heart of peak kill season, but kill levels have not picked up the way we would expect. There is no reason to think the lambs are not out there, so the question is when will they come forwards?

Sign up for regular updates

You can subscribe to receive Beef and Lamb market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.