Strong beef kill of 37,000 head

Over 37,000 cattle were slaughtered last week in Irish beef exporting plants – a fall of 195 head when compared to the previous week and a jump of 1,870 head when compared to the equivalent week in 2019.

While the kill decreased, the number of cows increased, with 9,422 cows processed last week – an increase of 259 on the previous week.

The kill was driven mostly by steers and heifers; 13,460 bullocks were slaughtered – down 210 head, while heifer numbers decreased by 627 head – amounting to 10,242 head.

In the case of bulls, young bull slaughterings increased to 2,977 head, representing an 70 head increase on the previous week’s kill; the number of aged bulls increased to 996 head – up from 683 head.

Nearly 878,900 cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland this year – a decrease of 47,391 head when compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Throughput increases have been witnessed in the steer category. However, heifer, young bull, aged bull and cow throughput have declined.

In terms of prices, the majority of beef factories have moved to quote 365c/kg for steers and 370c/kg for heifers, with factories anxious for cattle and this trend is expected to continue.

However, there are some processors holding quotes at 365c/kg for steers, but this is being met with firm opposition from beef finishers.