The number of lambs slaughtered in the UK in April 2022 surpassed the 1m head mark. This underpinned a 22% year-on-year increase in production.

The AHDB also reports that the average weight of lamb carcases also increased by 400g to 21.1kg, with the two of these factors combined driving growth in production to the tune of 4,400t to 24,300t.

UK sheep production annual production trends

As can be seen in the bar chart, the volume of sheep produced was significantly ahead of 2021 and 2020 levels where the normal drafting pattern was significantly disrupted by Brexit.

Production throughout 2021 was running 10% behind previous year’s levels for much of the year, with the recovery in throughput stemming from a higher carryover of 2021-born sheep.

The ewe and ram kill of 99,600 head was also 11%, or 9,600 head higher.

The key factor driving higher ewe throughput in April was the Ramadan festival, with demand for the Islamic religious festival also enticing higher numbers of lambs on to the market.