LMC: Cattle Kill Under Renewed Pressure

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - During September, there has been renewed pressure on the NI cattle kill with numbers slaughtered down by five per cent year-onyear.
calendar icon 14 October 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The decline in slaughterings would have been much higher were it not for a sharp increase in the cow kill last month.

These figures mark a return to the trend that has been typical through much of 2011 to date, whereby the prime cattle has been under pressure and the cull cow kill has been on the rise.

In August there had been a slight recovery in the NI cattle kill with total slaughterings up by four per cent year-on-year. This overall change in August consisted of a one per cent increase in the prime cattle kill and a 25 per cent increase in the cow kill.

In September (four weeks ending 1 October 2011) the prime cattle kill was down by nine per cent year-on-year.

The overall kill is four per cent lower for the year to date with the prime cattle kill down by seven per cent during the first nine months of the year.

The category showing the sharpest decline was young bulls where the kill was down by 18 per cent year-on-year.

The reduction in the young bull kill is particularly marked, mainly because of the abundance of bulls that were available on the market last year.

The trend in the young bull kill is also reflected in the mature bull kill where slaughterings in September were less than half of September 2010 levels.

The heifer kill was down by 11 per cent in September and as well as reflecting reduced numbers of cattle on the ground, this may also be a sign of greater activity among primary producers with perhaps increased retentions for breeding purposes. The steer kill was five per cent lower in September compared to last year.

In September the cow kill was 22 per cent greater than last year with the cow kill 14 per cent higher for the year to date.

This increase has been driven primarily by more beef cow slaughterings in the local meat plants. Price reporting figures show a sharp year-on-year increase in beef cow slaughterings in August and September.

This trend may in part explain the reduction in heifer slaughterings so far this year. With strong milk prices in recent months, dairy cow slaughterings have been lower than last year.

Further Reading

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