While last week’s beef kill saw very little change in the overall throughput, a few noticeable changes in the composition were observed.

Figures released by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) today, Tuesday, October 12, indicate that a total of 35,968 head of cattle – including veal – were processed in the week commencing Monday, October 4.

Last week’s kill is up a marginal 217 head from the previous week, making it the highest weekly kill to date this year – closely followed by the kill for the week commencing September 20, which was just one beast behind.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

  • Young bulls: 1,332 head (-192 head);
  • Bulls: 515 head (-22 head);
  • Steers: 17,191 head (-681 head);
  • Cows: 6,919 head (+837 head);
  • Heifers: 9,970 head (+235 head);
  • Total: 35,968 head (+217 head).

An analysis of last week’s kill figures shows a significant dip of 681 head of cattle in the steer category, while the number of cows processed rose by a noticeable 837 head.

The number of heifers processed last week rose slightly by 217 head. The drop in the steer kill will come as a surprise to many as the steer category witnessed an increase of over 650 head in the previous week’s kill.

While last week’s cow kill increased significantly, it is still a long way off the highest weekly throughput of cows with weeks in May, June and July seeing the highest weekly throughput of cows.

The cumulative beef kill for this year is now over 70,000 head of cattle behind figures from the same time period last year and this figure is expected to fall further behind last year’s figure – according to Bord Bia’s projections.

Despite this, the weekly kill for the past number of weeks has been running slightly ahead for the corresponding weeks last year, so it remains to be seen if Bord Bia’s trend prediction will continue to unfold.