The overall number of beef cattle processed at Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) approved slaughter plants increased for the week commencing January 24, 2022, with throughput levels for week four of this year crossing the 35,000 head mark.

To put this into context, last year’s weekly beef kill remained below 35,000 head until early September, when cattle supplies managed to surpass this level.

While weekly throughput levels have increased by over 1,000 head/week over the past three weeks, the total number of cattle processed to date this year is only up by 792 head (including veal) when compared to the same time period last year.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

  • Young bulls: 4,206 head (-79 head);
  • Bulls: 365 head (+103 head);
  • Steers: 12,229 head (+637 head);
  • Cows: 7,599 head (+544 head);
  • Heifers: 10,691 head (-15 head);
  • Total (including veal): 35,224 head (+1,298 head).

Looking at the composition of the weekly kill, we can see that the number of steers and cows processed has seen an increase over the past three consecutive weeks, while the number of heifers and young bulls has fallen marginally last week.

The cumulative beef kill up to January 30, shows that the number of young bulls, bulls, steers and cows that have been processed are all up on the same time period last year, but the number of heifers processed to date this year is back by over 2,100 head, according to department figures.

Further analysis of the department’s data on last week’s beef kill shows that over 62% of the cows processed last week were a ‘P‘ grade.

The department’s data on the grades of cattle processed last week also shows that just under 61% of the steers processed last week graded between an O+ and a P-, while over 52% of the heifers processed last week graded between an O+ and a P-.

Stay tuned to Agriland for further updates on the weekly beef kill.