Bumper kill brings weekly beef supplies to the highest point in 2019

Official figures show that some 40,214 cattle were slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants last week – the highest weekly kill in 2019.

The addition of last week’s throughput brings the cumulative kill for the year – up to and including last week – to over 1.61 million head – some 60,314 head behind 2018 levels.

In a year where the weekly kills were lowered to a couple of thousand – due to factory-gate protests – this figure indicates the increasing factory demand for beef which is evident in recent weeks.

Looking at the figures in more detail, last week’s steer and heifer kill stood at 15,662 head and 11,534 head respectively.

Cow slaughterings accounted for the third-largest segment of the kill at 8,090 head, while young bull and aged bull throughput stood at 4,276 head and 566 head respectively.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending December 1):
  • Young bulls: 4,276 head (+227 head or +5.6%);
  • Bulls: 566 head (-27 head or -4.5%);
  • Steers: 15,662 head (+159 head or -1.0%);
  • Cows: 8,090 head (+31 head or +0.3%);
  • Heifers: 11,534 head (+239 head or +2.1%);
  • Total: 40,214 head (+663 head or +1.6%).

Yearly kill

As mentioned above, just over 1.61 million cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland this year – a fall of 60,314 head or 3.6% when compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

Throughput increases have been witnessed in the young bull, aged bull, cow and heifer categories. However, steer throughput has declined by 45,078 head or 7%.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: 192,954 head (+6,730 head or +3.6%);
  • Bulls: 32,770 head (+3,651 head or +12.5%);
  • Steers: 584,528 head (-45,078 head or -7%);
  • Cows: 322,928 head (-47,853 head or -12%);
  • Heifers: 467,676 head (+18,255 head or +4%);
  • Total: 1,614,642 head (-60,314 head or -3.6%).

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