The national beef kill was below the 30,000 mark again last week with a throughput of 29,001 cattle to meat plants, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

Compared to the corresponding week last year, the beef kill was down by 2,300 however, the beef kill was up 2,001 from the week ending June 12.

The figures from the Department also show that the cumulative national beef kill is down 38,859 from the same time last year when the beef kill totalled 784,398.

The steer kill for last week is down on the corresponding week last year to 9,538 from 9,790 and the weekly heifer kill is also down from the corresponding week last year from 7,940 to 7,235.

Both the young bull kill and bull kill also decreased from last year 1,152 and 385 respectively.

The weekly cow kill was up by 208 from the same week last year.

Bord Bia has said that an increase of almost 50,000 head in live cattle exports in 2013 combined with a drop of more than 100,000 head in calf registrations point to a significant tightening in finished cattle supplies in 2015.

In its outlook for the beef sector in 2015 it said these developments would leave export availability standing at around 480,000t, a drop of more than 8%.

Cattle trade

Quotes for both steers and heifers have increased this week on the back of increasingly tighter supplies of finished cattle.

IFA Livestock Chairman Henry Burns has said the cattle trade has remained very solid with factories very anxious over extremely tight supplies.

He said the base price for steers has increased with €4.30/kg being paid and the base price for heifers has moved up to €4.40/kg.