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Falling Carcase Weights Reduce Impact of More Cattle

11 September 2009

UK - The number of cattle slaughtered in Northern Ireland increases despite a decline in domestic cattle supply. Average carcase weights for the month drop but stronger GB demand and an appreciation in the Euro is helping sustain prices.

In August 2009, the number of cattle slaughtered has increased in Northern Ireland meat plants, compared to the same period in 2008. These increases have been driven by young bull and cow kills. Although throughput is up for the year, average carcase weight (ACW) is down meaning that increases in beef production have been modest. The decline in carcase weights is most noticeable in the cull cows ACW which is down by nine kilos in 2009. NI producers have managed to sustain throughput in 2009 despite the decline in the number of domestic cattle available for slaughter, as domestic calf births have fallen over recent years.

While the beef trade appeared stable this week (10 September), U3 and R3 steer prices did come under some pressure last week. Beef demand in GB has risen causing a rise in prices, a stronger Euro has also made NI beef more competitive against Republic of Irelands beef to GB buyers.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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