Beef kill: Over 4,600 fewer cattle slaughtered due to bank holiday

There was no bank holiday boost for prime cattle prices last week and this week has proven no different. Factory-fit bullocks and heifers – for the most part – are trading at 375c/kg and 385c/kg respectively. However, prices may be 5c/kg higher for in-spec cattle.

Official figures show that some 33,831 cattle were processed in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants last week – a fall of 4,622 when compared to the previous week’s kill. This is mainly due to the bank holiday on Monday last week.

The addition of last week’s throughput brings the cumulative kill for the year – up to and including the week ending November 4 – to over 1.51 million head.

The kill

Looking at the figures in more detail, last week’s steer and heifer kill stood at 13,965 head and 8,842 head respectively; when combined, this represents 67% of the total weekly kill last week.

Cow slaughterings accounted for the third largest segment of the kill at 7,933 head, while young bull and aged bull throughput stood at 2,645 head and 395 head respectively.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending November 4):
  • Young bulls: 2,645 head (-581 head or -18%);
  • Bulls: 395 head (-105 head or -21%);
  • Steers: 13,965 head (-2,291 head or -14%);
  • Cows: 7,933 head (-920 head or -10%);
  • Heifers: 8,842 head (-750 head or -7.8%);
  • Total: 33,831 head (-4,622 head or -12%).


Cumulative beef cattle supplies up over 53,000 head

As mentioned above, just over 1.51 million cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland this year – a climb of 53,195 head or 3.6% when compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

Throughput increases have been witnessed in the young bull, aged bull, cow and heifer categories. However, steer throughput has declined by 12,709 head or 2.2% – largely due to the rise in young bull slaughterings.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: 168,711 head (+14,494 head or +9.3%);
  • Bulls: 27,212 head (+2,792 head or +11%);
  • Steers: 568,879 head (-12,709 head or -2.2%);
  • Cows: 334,890 head (+21,479 head or +6.8%);
  • Heifers: 405,192 head (+24,581 head or +6.4%);
  • Total: 1,514,492 head (+47,195 head or +3.6%).