By FWi staff
SHEEP slaughterings soared last week, according to the latest figures from the Meat and Livestock Commission.
The week ended 7 February saw a year-on-year rise in sheep slaughterings of 82,000, the MLC reports. Killings totalled 336,000 sheep compared with 254,000 the year before.
The market is vastly oversupplied and farmers are selling store lambs for less than they paid for them last autumn.
At Otley in West Yorkshire, Mondays sales attracted more than 1870 lambs compared with only about 1250 this time last year.
“I never remember so many lambs coming from the uplands at this time of year,” said Ben Atkinson, auctioneer at Wharfdale Farmers Auction Mart. “The market is absolutely flooded.”
Trade has slipped nationally and shows no sign of improvement, according to auctioneers Lacey, Scott and Knight of Bury St Edmunds.
Old season lambs sold at Knighton in Powys today (Thursday) made an overall average of 85.43p/kg yesterday, according to auctioneers McCartneys. Light lambs averaged 68.85p/kg, standard lambs 85.27p/kg, medium lambs 85.82p/kg, and heavy lambs 73.28p/kg.