Little signs of beef cattle supplies easing as numbers remain steady

There have been few signs that beef cattle supplies are beginning to tighten, as the weekly beef kill continues to remain above 30,000 head.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture show that just over 30,500 cattle were slaughtered in Irish beef plants during the week ending August 21.

This is a slight increase of 88 head compared to the week before, when the kill stood at 30,506 head.

Official figures from the Department also show that the average weekly beef kill for the month of August is sitting at 29,774 head, just under the supply and demand balance of 30,000 head.

Looking at the weekly beef kill in more detail, figures from the Department show that the throughput of young bulls declined by 22.7% or 620 head last week, while the weekly heifer kill fell by 1% or 71 head.

However, despite the fall in young bull and heifer throughput, supplies of aged bulls (+21.2%), steers (+2.7%) and cows (+4.1%) all increased.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: -620 head (-22.7%)
  • Bulls: +150 head (+21.2%)
  • Steers: +369 head (+2.7%)
  • Cows: +264 head (+4.1%)
  • Heifers: -71 head (-1%)
  • Total: +88 head (+0.3%)

Cumulative beef kill

According to figures from the Department of Agriculture’s beef kill database, an extra 27,462 (2.8%) cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland so far this year.

The majority of this increase has come in the form of young bull slaughterings, with throughput up by 30,708 head or 2.8%, while cow throughput has increased by 7,750 head.

But, figures from the Department also show that cumulative supply of aged bulls (-15.7%), steers (-1.8%) and heifers (-0.3%) have all dropped.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: +30,708 head (+28.8%)
  • Bulls: -3,732 head (-15.7%)
  • Steers: -6,715 head (-1.8%)
  • Cows: +7,750 head (+3.8%)
  • Heifers: -720 head (-0.3%)
  • Total: +27,462 head (+2.8%)

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