Weekly beef kill falls, but only slightly

Official figures show the number of cattle slaughtered in Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved beef plants fell to 36,623 head last week.

This is a decrease of 266 head on the previous week and some 418 head less than the equivalent week in 2019, when there were 37,041 cattle killed.

With the inclusion of last week’s kill, the total kill for 2020 is now up to 246,331 head.

Image-source-AgriLand-Weekly-kill-graph-week-commencing-Feb-10

Looking at the figures in more detail, the number of steers and heifers processed last week was 12,790 head and 11,701 head respectively; these two together making up just below 67% of the overall kill.

Approximately 23% of last week’s total kill consisted of a combination of cows (7,002), young bulls (4,570) and aged bulls (560).

As stated above, total supplies for the year-to-date amount to 242,938 head, this is consisting of: 34,206 young bulls; 3,425 aged bulls; 81,978 steers; 44,664 cows; and 78,665 heifers.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending February 9):
  • Young bulls: 4,570 head (-480 head or -9.5%);
  • Bulls: 560 head (+24 head or +4.5%);
  • Steers: 12,790 head (+251 head or +2%);
  • Cows: 7,002 head (-108 head or -1.5%);
  • Heifers: 11,701 head (+47 head or +0.4%);
  • Total: 36,623 head (-266 head or -0.7%).

Year-on-year supplies

Even taking into account last week’s kill, the cumulative kill for 2020 is still significantly below that of 2019.

By this stage in 2019, there were some 252,805 animals killed, meaning there has been a drop off of 6,474 head or approximately 2.5% in 2020.

There has, however, been an increase in the number of aged bulls, steers and heifers slaughtered this year. Young bulls have seen a decline (by 8,566 head), as have the number of cows processed (by 6,293 head) when compared to 2019.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: 34,206 head ( -8,566 head or -20%);
  • Bulls: 3,425 head (+391 head or +12.9%);
  • Steers: 81,978 head (+4,987 head or +6.5%);
  • Cows: 44,664 head (-6,293 head or -12.3%);
  • Heifers: 78,665 head (+1,421 head or +1.8%);
  • Total: 246,331 head (-6,474 head or -2.5%).

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