Beef kill hits just shy of 39,000 head

Official figures show that some 38,838 cattle were processed in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants last week.

The addition of last week’s throughput brings the cumulative kill for the year – up to and including the week ending November 10 – to over 1.49 million head.

What drove last week’s big kill?

Looking at the figures in more detail, last week’s steer and heifer supplies stood at 16,238 head and 10,733 head respectively; when combined, this represents 69% of the total weekly kill last week.

Cow slaughterings accounted for the third-largest segment of the kill at 8,219 head, while young bull and aged bull throughput stood at 3,061 head and 565 head respectively.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending November 10):
  • Young bulls: 3,061 head (+260 head or +8.5%);
  • Bulls: 565 head (+94 head or +16.6%);
  • Steers: 16,238 head (+1,458 head or +9.9%);
  • Cows: 8,219 head (+1,949 head or +23.7%);
  • Heifers: 10,733 head (+691 head or +6.9%);
  • Total: 38,838 head (+4,450 head or +12.9%).

Year-on-year supplies

As mentioned above, over 1.49 million cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland this year – a fall of 58,749 head or 3.8% when compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

Throughput increases have been witnessed in the young bull, aged bull and heifer categories. However, steer throughput has declined by 47,456 head or 8%, the cow kill is running 45,094 head behind 2018 levels.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: 181,135 head (+8,725 head or +5%);
  • Bulls: 31,011 head (+3,349 head or +12.1%);
  • Steers: 537,519 head (-47,456 head or -8%);
  • Cows: 299,199 head (-45,094 head or -13%);
  • Heifers: 433,375 head (+17,814 head or +4%);
  • Total: 1,495,783 head (-58,749 head or -3.8%).

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