Irish Cattle Supplies Lower in 2009

IRELAND - For the year 2009, Irish cattle supplies at export meat plants fell by more than four per cent to 1.525 million head, according to Peter Duggan, Strategic Information Services, Bord Bia.
calendar icon 19 January 2010
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The majority of the decline is based on significantly lower disposals of steers, partly due to a strong rise in the number of finished cattle exported live to Northern Ireland during 2009.

Prime cattle supplies were 68,900 head below 2008 levels at 1.16 million head. During the first half of 2009, prime cattle throughput was 59,000 head lower while they were largely maintained in the second half of the year. During the last quarter of 2009 prime cattle supplies were three per cent higher at 342,300 head as poor weather and grazing conditions during the summer months delayed marketings.

Steer supplies for the year were almost 10 per cent or 70,700 head lower at 635,700 head, with most of this fall evident in the first six months of 2009 when steer throughput was almost 15 per cent or 45,000 head lower. This decline was due to a strong jump in the level of finished steers exported live to Northern Ireland combined with lower calf registrations in 2007.

In contrast young bull throughput was more than 10 per cent or 11,300 head higher at 120,200 head, highlighting the fact that increasing numbers of producers are finishing young bulls.

Throughput of heifers for the year was more than two per cent lower at almost 406,000 head. Cow supplies for the year remained virtually unchanged at 330,00 head.

Taking into account the fall in cattle supplies coupled with a marginal fall in carcase weights, production of beef at export meat plant is estimated to have fallen by over four per cent to 513,000 tonnes cwe.

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