The slaughter of lambs fell sharply during November and December of 2016. Halved grants before the New Year may have urged farmers to defer the slaughter, so the resulting over-production of mutton may be greater than anticipated.
According to Nortura, 66,000 fewer lambs were slaughtered in November and December last year, compared to 2015.
If it means farmers waited until the New Year for the slaughter (to get the full subsidy), it implies that the real surplus of mutton is larger than the 3,200 tons that were said to be lying in surplus at the year’s end, reported Nationen newspaper.
‘66,000 lambs in just two months is a pretty big difference. But the decline may also be because the lambs were delivered earlier. We received a good response to an appeal for early delivery’, said Finn Avdem, who is head of sheep flocks in Nortura.
He does not rule out that the slaughter may be at a higher level at the start of this year, but said they have not seen any marked increase so far.
In season, more lambs were slaughtered last year, but their average weight was lower, so the total production was 12 tons lower than in 2015, said Nortura.
‘The decline at the end of the year may have been partly adapted to get more grants, but fortunately the effect was very small’, said Bjørn-Ole Juul-Hansen of the Meat and Poultry Association.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today