Cattle throughput to Irish meat plants is back almost 45,000 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 24, sits at 1,040,507. This remains down, compared to last year’s figure for the corresponding period, which was 1,085,146.

Last week’s total kill at export meat plants is also back on the same week on 2014, it currently sits at 30,661 which is a fall of 2,779 head.

Young bull beef kill has also decreased by 270 on the corresponding week last year, figures from the Department show.

Weekly heifer throughput to Irish export plants is also back on 2014 levels. The total heifer kill for the week commencing August 28 stood at 7,051, which is a fall of 1,092 on 2014 levels.

The number of steers going to factories for last week (week commencing August 24) was back just over 1,438 head from the same week last year.

The weekly cow kill has fallen by 507, however the only increase in throughput occurred in the mature bulls which increased by 20 head.

Cumulatively, heifer throughput so far this year is back by 3,103 head while the cumulative steer throughput has fallen by a massive 35,326.

Beef price

Despite the reduced number of cattle slaughtered the beef price has fallen for the fifth consecutive week, with a staggering 8% drop since July 22.

This fall has resulted in 30c/kg being knocked off factory fit animals during this period.

A differential of approximately €105 now exists between a 350kg steer carcass this week and those slaughtered in the last week of July.

Worryingly, steer price has fallen below the €4/kg mark with many factories now quoting 395c/kg, while 405c/kg is being quoted for the heifers.