The number of beef cattle processed last week has dropped compared to levels from the previous week, as a result of the Bank Holiday Monday and the resulting short week’s kill.

Figures released on Tuesday, November 3, by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), indicate a drop of 4,088 head of cattle in last week’s kill when compared to the previous week.

According to the department’s figures, a total of 32,955 head of cattle (including veal) were processed at facilities approved by DAFM in the week commencing Monday, October 25.

When comparing the overall kill to date this year, with the overall kill to date last year, we see that the gap has widened further as of last week and now stands at just over 75,000 head of cattle behind last year’s cumulative beef kill of 1.47 million head (including veal).

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

Young bulls: 1,422 head (-725 head);
Bulls: 375 head (-89 head);
Steers: 15,117 head (-1,695 head);
Cows: 6,839 head (-95 head);
Heifers: 9,149 head (-1,455 head);
Total: 32,955 head (-4,088 head).

An analysis of last week’s kill figures would indicate that they remained surprisingly high considering the Bank Holiday weekend came into play.

The most significant dips were seen last week in the prime cattle categories with a drop of 725 head in the young-bull category, 1,695 head in the steer category and 1,455 head in the heifer category.

Meanwhile, the number of cows remained virtually the same as the previous week, which is certainly a surprise and would indicate processors are still keen for cows despite moves this week by some to take cow price back.

The number of cattle processed this week will likely bounce back up to somewhere over the 35,00 head once again, however, it will be interesting to see the composition of this week’s kill when the figures are released next Tuesday.