The latest figures show a drop of just over 5% in the number of cattle slaughtered for the week ending October 30 compared to the previous week, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Last week, the total beef kill stood at 34,293, a fall of 1,906 head on the week ending October 23.

This news comes in a week when factories continue to offer base prices as low as 360c/kg and 370c/kg for steer and heifer carcasses, respectively.

Suppliers appear to be feeling the pinch and this is reflected in falling numbers going to factories.

Numbers are down for almost every type of animal. The only exception to this is a continued strong supply of young bulls, where numbers are up 307 head on last week, a rise of 11.7%.

Steers show the biggest drop of all animal types with a fall of 1,615 head compared to the week ending October 23. This accounts for the biggest share of the overall slump.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Young Bulls: +307 head or +11.7%
  • Aged Bulls: -12 head or -2.4%
  • Steers: -1615 head or -9.7%
  • Cows: -171 head or -2.0%
  • Heifers: -418 head or -5.3%
  • Total: -1906 head or -5.3%

Cumulative Beef Kill

The beef kill in Department of Agriculture approved plants for the year remains ahead of where it was at the same time last year by over 5%.

This figure represents an increase of 65,482 head slaughtered for the year on the week ending October 30, 2016 compared to the week ending October 25, 2015.

The only category that has seen a fall in kill numbers this year is the aged bulls category, which has seen a 13.9% drop on last year of 4,097 head.

The overall increase is bolstered mainly by the rise in young bulls going to slaughter which currently stands 28.9% higher than 2015 levels.

Of the other categories cows show the biggest increases with a rise of 24,605 head which represents a 9.2% rise on the same period in 2015.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: +35,917 head or +28.9%
  • Aged bulls: -4,097 head or -13.9%
  • Steers: +2966 head or +0.6%
  • Cows: +24,605 head or +9.2%
  • Heifers: +5,895 head or +1.72%
  • Total: +65,242 head or +5.1%