The average steer carcass weight in the first six months of 2023 has fallen by 3kg when compared to figures from the same six-month period in 2022.
Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that in the first six months of 2023, the average steer carcass weight was 345kg. In the same time period of 2022, the average steer carcass weight was 348kg – a total of 3kg higher.
While 3kg in carcass weight may not seem significant, in the first 26 weeks of this year a total of 308,005 steers were slaughtered at DAFM-approved factories. An average drop in carcass weight of 3kg on that number of steers equates to 924,015kg.
The tables below show the national average steer and heifer carcass weights by grade for the first six months of 2023:
The same trend is also apparent in the heifer category, with the average carcass weight falling by 1kg.
In the first half of 2023, the average heifer carcass weight was 311kg, down 1kg from the average heifer carcass weight in the same time period of 2022.
The same trend is also apparent in the steer category with an increase in the number of steers grading an O+ or lower in the first six months of this year.
In the first six months of 2022, 39.8% of all steers slaughtered graded an R- or above and 60.2% of steers graded an O+ or below.
Only 36.9% of the steers slaughtered in the first six months of 2023 graded an R- or above leaving 63.1% of the steers grading an O+ or below.
In the heifer category, the number of heifers grading an O+ or below has also increased.
In the first six months of 2023, 49.3% of all heifers slaughtered graded an O+ or below, up 1.1% from the same time period last year.