2014 saw largest beef kill since 2007

Final figures released by the Department of Agriculture show that the total beef kill in 2014 was the largest since 2007.

Last year saw a total of 1,643,772 head of cattle slaughtered at meat plants around the country up over 10% on the 2013 figure of 1,491,235.

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According to EBLEX with higher carcase weights on the back of better conditions, production is up over 13%, or almost 60,000 tonnes on the year.

According to Meat Industry Ireland while Irish cattle prices have been weaker this year (down 10-12% from the record high levels of 2013), prices across the entire EU have been reduced.

It says this is a direct result of a significant drop in EU beef consumption, which has fallen by 700,000 tonnes since 2010, it says.

The meat industry has said increased production has meant it had to sell an additional 75,000 tonnes of beef into a market where consumption has fallen dramatically during the Economic recession.

It has also said that exports in 2014 will exceed €2bn in value, repeating the record levels achieved in 2013.

2015

In its outlook for 2015 Teagasc has said in the short run the outlook for finished cattle supplies and for beef supply are determined by the current inventories of animals aged 1-2 years.

It said inventories for these animals in Ireland are now lower than in 2013, while inventories in the rest of the EU are slightly lower than in 2013.

Teagasc says this status indicates that EU production of beef in 2015 will be at best stable relative to that in 2014 while supplies of finished cattle in Ireland and beef production will be below that observed in 2014.

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