Biggest beef kill of 2018 recorded as supplies break 40,000 head

At a time when the Beef Plan Group begins to gather momentum in an effort for farmers to receive a better price for their product, the highest kill of 2018 has been recorded.

Official figures show that some 40,039 cattle were processed in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants last week.

The addition of last week’s throughput brings the cumulative kill for the year – up to and including the week ending November 11 – to over 1.55 million head.

What drove last week’s big kill?

Looking at the figures in more detail, last week’s steer and heifer supplies stood at 16,096 head and 10,369 head respectively; when combined, this represents 66% of the total weekly kill last week.

Cow slaughterings accounted for the third largest segment of the kill at 9,403 head, while young bull and aged bull throughput stood at 3,699 head and 450 head respectively.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending November 11):
  • Young bulls: 3,699 head (+1,054 head or +40%);
  • Bulls: 450 head (+55 head or +14%);
  • Steers: 16,096 head (+2,131 head or +15%);
  • Cows: 9,403 head (+1,470 head or +19%);
  • Heifers: 10,369 head (+1,554 head or +17%);
  • Total: 40,039 head (+6,208 head or +18%).

Year-on-year supplies

As mentioned above, just over 1.55 million cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland this year – a climb of 54,719 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 12,295 head or 2% – largely due to the rise in young bull slaughterings.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: 172,410 head (+14,193 head or +9.8%);
  • Bulls: 27,662 head (+2,651 head or +14%);
  • Steers: 584,975 head (-12,295 head or -2.3%);
  • Cows: 344,293 head (+22,580 head or +6.6%);
  • Heifers: 415,561 head (+25,066 head or +6.1%);
  • Total: 1,554,531 head (+54,719 head or +3.7%).