Cumulative beef cattle kill breaks 1.6m head – 100,000 extra expected in 2017

The cumulative number of cattle slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants reached 1.62m during the week ending December 25.

This is an increase of 5% or 77,068 head on the corresponding January to December period in 2015.

Much of this increase in throughput can be attributed to a rise in young bull slaughterings, with supplies of these animals up by 24% or 38,309 head on the same time in 2015.

A 11.7% jump in cull cow slaughters was also witnessed in 2016, leading to the overall cow kill reaching 355,390 head – a rise of 37,311 head on 2015 levels.

Heifer throughput also increased slightly when compared to 2015 levels.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:

  • Young bull: +38,309 head or +24.9%
  • Bull: -3,886 head or -11.7%
  • Steer: -6,512 head or -1%
  • Cow: +37,311 head or +11.7%
  • Heifer: +12,095 head or +2.9%
  • Total: +77,068 head or +5%

Meanwhile, figures from the Department of Agriculture also show that aged bull and steer throughput fell by 11.7% and 1% respectively on 2015 levels.

100,000 extra cattle on the way this year

Approximately 100,000 extra cattle will come available for slaughter in this year, according to Bord Bia’s Joe Burke, who spoke recently.

The Bord Bia Livestock Sector Manager said that figures from the latest count, which was taken in October, point towards this increase.

On the type of cattle that will come available for slaughter in 2017, Burke said Angus and Herefords will contribute to an awful lot of the extra supply.

This follows on from an increase in the number of Hereford and Angus calf registrations in 2015, with an additional 80,000 being registered through the Department’s Animal Identification service.

The market is paying a premium for these animals, he said, and it has indicated that it will continue to accept more in the future.