Beef cattle supplies show slight signs of tightening as kill falls below 30,000 head

Beef cattle supplies showed some signs of tightening last week with the weekly kill dropping below 30,000, recent figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

According to the Department’s beef kill database, just 28,221 cattle were slaughtered in approved export plants during the week ending August 7.

This is a drop of 7.7% or almost 2,400 head compared to the week earlier.

The majority of this drop was due to declines in young bull, cow and heifer throughput, which fell by 640 head, 1,421 head and 876 head respectively.

But, official figures show there was an increase in the number of steer and aged bull slaughterings, with the weekly steer kill jumping by 351 head and the aged bull kill increased by just four head.

However, it must be noted that the majority of processors only killed on four out of the five days last week due to the bank holiday weekend.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: -640 head (-21.6%)
  • Bulls: +4 head (+0.6%)
  • Steers: +351 head (+2.9%)
  • Cows: -1,421 head (-18%)
  • Heifers: -876 head (-12%)
  • Total: -2,365 head (-7.7%)

Nearly 25,000 extra cattle slaughtered in 2016

The Department’s figures also show that nearly 25,000 (+2.7%) extra cattle have been slaughtered in Irish beef plants so far this year.

Official figures show that young bulls account for the most part of this increase, with the cumulative supply 28.8% higher this year compared to last year.

It also shows that the cumulative cull cow kill has increased by 6,737 head or 3.5%.

However, all of the other major categories of cattle, including aged bull, steer and heifer slaughterings have dropped this year.

According to the Department, the aged bull kill is back by 18%, the steer kill has dropped by 2% and the heifer kill has decreased slightly by 0.3%.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: +29,593 head (+28.8%)
  • Bulls: -4,081 head (-18%)
  • Steers: -7,018 head (-2%)
  • Cows: +6,737 head (+3.5%)
  • Heifers: -727 head (-0.3%)
  • Total: +24,716 head (+2.7%)

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