Beef cattle numbers continue to rise as weekly kill passes 36,000 head

The number of cattle slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants continues to climb on a weekly basis.

The most recent figures from the Department show that last week’s kill broke the 36,001 mark, just over 6,001 head more than the weekly factory supply and demand level of 30,000 head.

A jump in cull cow slaughterings made up the majority of this increase, with the weekly kill of cows up by 436 head or 5.7% on the week earlier.

Official figures also show that young bull, bull and heifer slaughterings all posted increases on the week before, up by 275 head (+12.6%), 10 head (+1.8%) and 137 head (+1.7%) respectively.

However, despite the upward movement in kill numbers, the number of steers slaughtered in Ireland last week was 295 head (-1.7%) lower than the week before.

In total, this means that last week’s beef kill was 1.7% higher than the week before.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Young bull: +275 head (+12.6%)
  • Bull: +10 head (+1.8%)
  • Steer: -295 head (-1.7%)
  • Cow: +436 head (+5.7%)
  • Heifer: +137 head (+1.7%)
  • Total: +590 head (+1.7%)

Cumulative beef cattle supplies

Figures from the Department also show that an additional 51,290 head of cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland this year, bringing the cumulative kill to 1.25m head.

Young bull slaughterings make up the majority of this increase, with the cumulative supply of these animals up 33,974 head or 28.7% year-on-year.

Official figures also show that there has been a further rise in steer and heifer throughput, which are up by 18,478 head (+4.1%) and 3,445 head (+1.1%) respectively.

Further to the rise in prime cattle slaughterings, there has also been some increase in the cumulative cow kill, which has increased by 19,472 head or 7.8% on 2015 levels.

But, the cumulative aged bull kill has been 14.5% or 4,062 head lower to the week ending October 9 on the corresponding period in 2015.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bull: +33,974 head (+28.7%)
  • Bull: -4,062 head (-14.5%)
  • Steer: +18,478 head (+4.1%)
  • Cow: +19,472 head (+7.8%)
  • Heifer: +3,445 head (+1.1%)
  • Total: +51,290 head (+4.3%)