Beef cattle throughput figures for last week, the week commencing Monday, January 24, have seen a marginal increase when compared to both figures from the week prior and those of the same week last year.

A total of 33,926 head of cattle (including veal) was processed in the third week of January. This figure is up by almost 1,500 head on the week prior and up by over 2,500 head from the 31,384 head of cattle processed in the same week last year, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

While last week’s throughput may have noticed an increase, the cumulative beef kill to date this year is still over 3,000 head behind the same time frame last year.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

  • Young bulls: 4,279 head (+324 head);
  • Bulls: 262 head (-50 head);
  • Steers: 11,592 head (+419 head);
  • Cows: 7,055 head (+734 head);
  • Heifers: 10,706 head (+86 head);
  • Total: (including veal): 33,926 head (+1,491 head).

Looking at the above figures, we see the number of cows processed last week increased by over 700, while steer and young bull throughput noticeably increased too.

However, closer analysis of the department’s data indicates that the type of cows being presented for slaughter has improved significantly, as almost 35% of the cows processed in the third week of January graded an R+ or above and over 64% of the cows graded a ‘3’ in flesh.

In December last year, the composition of the cow kill appeared very differently in the department’s data.

For the first week of December in 2021, cows accounted for over a quarter of the weekly kill and according to DAFM’s reports, over 70% of cows processed in the first week of December graded an O- or below.

Stay tuned to Agriland for further updates and analysis on the weekly beef kill.