Cattle supplies at export meat plants for the week ending 22nd March stood at around 30,386 head, which was around 6,000 head or around 20 per cent higher than the equivalent week in 2013. Cumulative supplies for the year are running over 34,731 head or 10 per cent higher than the figures for the corresponding period last year.

Cumulative supplies of steers were up over 7 per cent on the same period. Last week some 9,885 steers were slaughtered. This compared to 7,386 in the same week in 2013. In terms of Heifers, the kill last week was 8,381 head which is up 1,903 head on the same week last year or 29 per cent. The cow kill stood at 6,284 last week. The cumulative kill for heifers and cows continue to be up over 10 per cent.

Northern Ireland

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) latest market report prime cattle slaughterings in NI last week totalled 6,586 head, a reduction of 201 head from the previous week but 741 head higher than the corresponding week last year.

It said prime cattle throughput for 2014 to date has totalled 70,593 head, 2.5 per cent lower than the same period in 2013. Young bulls have accounted for 18 per cent of the prime cattle kill during 2014 to date with the remaining 82 per cent split evenly between steers and heifers.

According to the LMC imports of prime cattle for direct slaughter from ROI during 2014 to date has totalled 3,798 head and has accounted for five per cent of the total prime cattle kill in NI during this period. This compares to 4,271 clean cattle imported in the same period in 2013 when they accounted for 6 per cent of the prime cattle kill. Exports from NI to ROI last week for direct slaughter consisted of 4 prime cattle and 134 cows while exports to GB consisted of 137 prime cattle and 40 cows.