Cattle throughput to Irish meat plants is back almost 40,000 head compared to the same time last year, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

This year’s national beef kill for the week commencing August 10, sits at 980,186. This remains down compared to last year’s figure for the corresponding period, which was over 1m.

For the week commencing August 10, 2015, the number of cattle going to factories was 29,760, down from the 30,521 that were slaughtered at the same time last year.

Young bull throughput was back 176 head on the corresponding week last year, the figures show.

Throughput of heifers to Irish factories last week was marginally below the numbers seen at this time last year, with 6,955 going through on August 10, 2015 compared to 7,483 last year.

The number of steers going to factories for last week was back just over 200 head from the same week last year.

Cow and bull numbers going to factories were 142 head and 20 head up for the week commencing August 10 compared to the corresponding week last year.

Cumulatively, heifer throughput so far this year is almost on par with the number that went to factories this time last year and the steer throughput is 37,891 head ahead of the corresponding time last year.

Factory prices

Beef prices have fallen as much as 5% in the last two weeks and reports from the industry suggest prices could fall further in the coming weeks.

This week, base quotes from processors are generally €4.05/kg for steers and €4.15/kg for heifers, both back over 25c/kg in under three weeks.

The latest IFA cattle price update says that the average price for young bulls is between €4.00/kg and €4.30/kg while cow prices range from €3.50/kg and €3.90/kg.