UK prime cattle slaughterings totalled 143,000 head in August – 8.1% lower than the same time last year, according to the latest figures from DEFRA. However, slightly heavier carcass weights meant beef and veal production was only 5.7% lower, at 64,000t.
There was a marked difference between GB and Northern Ireland, where slaughterings actually increased due to a rise in cattle imported from the Republic of Ireland, said a report by EBLEX.
“In addition to increased availability, the drop in the value of the euro against sterling has made ROI cattle more competitive in sterling terms. This has the potential to affect beef production in the Republic. As the UK is the largest market for Irish beef, the availability of Irish product for export can play a significant part in the UK supply/demand balance and has the potential to impact on domestic price movements.”
UK clean sheep slaughterings were 5% lower than August 2011, at just over one million head, with mutton and lamb production also down by 5%, to 24,000t.
The clean pig kill was 3.1% up on the year, at 782,000 head, boosting production by 3.4%, to 64,000t.