Weekly beef kill falls by almost 1,300 head

Official figures have shown that some 38,939 head of cattle were processed last week in Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved beef export plants.

This was a decrease of 1,942 head on the previous week; however, the number of calves processed last week accounted for 3,268 head of the total kill.

Including last week’s kill, the cumulative kill for 2020 is now up to 405,491, an increase of over 5,000 head compared to the same week in 2019.

Looking at the figures in greater detail, the number of heifers killed was down slightly to 11,131 head, while the number of steers killed increased by 60 head on the previous week – to 13,162 head. These two combined accounted for over 62% of the total weekly kill.

The number of cows processed decreased last week to 7,333 head, while young bulls also fell to 3,287 head.

Aged bulls made up the smallest segment of last week’s kill, with only 758 head slaughtered; although this was an increase of 76 head on the previous week.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending March 8):
  • Young bulls: 3,287 head (-433 head or -11.6%);
  • Bulls: 758 head (+76 head or +11%);
  • Steers: 13,162 head (+60 head or +0.5%);
  • Cows: 7,333 head (-273 head or -3.6%);
  • Heifers: 11,131 head (-707 head or -6%);
  • Total: 35,671 head (-1,277 head or -3.5%).

Year-on-year supplies

There has been 405,491 head of cattle killed this year so far, when taking into account last week’s kill.

By the corresponding week in 2019, there had been 400,181 head of cattle slaughtered – an increase of 5,310 head in 2020.

In 2020, there have been increases in the number of aged bulls, steers and heifers killed, with steers showing the greatest increase – a 11,344 head increase.

There has been decreases recorded in the young bull and cow categories – representing a decline of 14,724 head and 5,026 head respectively.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: 49,419 head (-14,724 head or -23%);
  • Bulls: 6,303 head (+858 head or +15.8%);
  • Steers: 134,617 head (+11,344 head or +9.2%);
  • Cows: 73,949 head (-5,026 head or -6.4%);
  • Heifers: 124,532 head (+4,734 head or +4%);
  • Total: 405,491 head (+5,310 head or +1.3%).

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