High prices cause increase in beef production

UK beef production increased by 13% on the year in the month of April after strong prices encouraged producers to send livestock to slaughter.

Production of beef totalled 77,600t in April and now stands at 307,100t for the year.

Despite the rise in numbers slaughtered, the average carcass weights of prime cattle remained steady thanks to increase in the weight of young bulls, according to Defra data.

See also: Flying prime beef trade still to lift calf prices

Their average weights jumped 12kg from 320kg to 332kg, while heifers fell back 4kg to 369.6kg and steers dropped 2kg to 330kg.

The nationwide average deadweight price for steers hit 365.9p/kg for the week ending 19 May, while heifers were making 367.9p/kg and young bulls 350.7p/kg.   

The increase for April brings the total prime cattle slaughterings for 2018 to 170,300 head, a 9% year-on-year increase.

An increase in numbers was also seen in the adult cattle slaughtering figures, with a 28% year-on-year increase at 55,300 head.