Last week’s beef cattle throughput at factories approved for slaughter by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) witnessed a drop in numbers.

The figures, released by DAFM yesterday, Tuesday, November 23, show that the total throughput last week stood at 35,652 (including veal).

The total number of cattle processed for the week commencing November 15, was 1,218 head behind the previous week and 3,610 head behind figures from the same week last year.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

  • Young bulls: 2,977 head (+454 head);
  • Bulls: 455 head (+4 head);
  • Steers: 13,021 head (-1,609 head);
  • Cows: 8,225 head (-224 head);
  • Heifers: 10,935 head (+184 head);
  • Total (including veal): 35,652 head (-1,218 head).

Looking at the above figures, we can see the category that experienced the most significant drop in numbers last week was the steer category, which was back by over 1,609 head.

Cow throughput also dropped by a slight 224 head. Interestingly, the number of heifers processed last week increased slightly by just over 180 head, while the number of young bulls rose by 454 head.

Looking at the trends in last week’s kill figures gives a good indication why processors were quick to confirm a 5c/kg rise in steer price, but slower to affirm a 5c/kg rise in heifer price – which is also available this week.

Last week’s heifer kill was the highest so far this year at 10,935 head of heifers processed.

The week previous to last week’s cow throughput was the highest weekly kill of cows this year and cow numbers will likely decline slowly from now into the close of the year.

The cumulative beef kill is now running 76,356 head (including veal) behind the total number of cattle killed to date this time last year – in line with Bord Bia’s projections of this year’s kill being 120,000 head of cattle behind last year’s kill, factoring in the one week less of processing this year.