Beef kill hits 35,000 head

Some 35,000 cattle were slaughtered last week in Irish beef exporting plants – an increase of 656 head when compared to the previous week and a jump of over 344 head when compared to the equivalent week in 2019.

This week, most plants are purchasing steers and heifers at 360-365c/kg, with factories working hard to keep downward pressure on prices.

While the kill increased last week – albeit by a relatively low number, so too did the cow kill; with an extra 798 cows processed last week – up from 6,104 the week previous.

The increase was driven mostly by cows and heifers; 9,314 heifers were slaughtered – up 140 head, while steer numbers fell by 77 head – hitting 16,851 in total.

In the case of bulls, young bull slaughterings decreased to 1,253 head, representing a 233-head increase on the previous week’s kill. However, the number of aged bulls increased to 679 head – up slightly from 673 head.

So far in 2020, some 1,155,897 cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland – a decrease of 21,180 head when compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Throughput increases have been witnessed in the steer category. However, heifer, young bull, aged bull and cow throughput have declined.

Those figures are: young bull throughput has hit 104,499 head; aged bulls are at 23,118 head; steer numbers have reached 443,947 head; the total number of heifers slaughtered is 347,146 head; and cows have hit 237,187 head.