Sheep meat production steady in January

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UK sheep meat production for January stood at 24,200 tonnes, unchanged from the previous year according to data released by Defra.

1.04 million clean sheep were killed in January, 1% higher than the previous year but adult sheep throughput was down 10% to 127,500 head. Carcase weights increased, with clean sheep up 200g to average 20kg and adult sheep carcase weights up 700g to 26.4kg.

A lot of sheep came through in 2019 and there was some concern this may make supplies tighter in the beginning of this year. Total sheep throughput is slightly down in January compared to last year but this has been balanced out with the higher carcase weights. It remains to be seen if supply remains tighter through the rest of the first quarter although this appears likely.


Jennie Tanner


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