29,132 head of cattle were processed in Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine-approved beef plants last week, figures from its beef classification and price reporting division indicate.
The beef kill for the week commencing January 2nd, 2023, was 2,322 head higher than the corresponding period last year (total throughput: 26,810 head, its database shows.
Last week, heifers accounted for the largest proportion of the kill, at 9,852 head, followed by steers at 9,813.
During the same week last year, bullocks made up the largest part of the beef kill at 9,550 head, followed by heifers at 9,186.
Therefore, the heifer kill was up by 670 head, while 265 more heifers were slaughtered compared to the corresponding week in 2022.
Meanwhile, 3,579 young bulls were slaughtered last week, along with 222 stock bulls.
This is compared to 3,030 young bulls (549 head more in 2023) and 214 stock bulls (8 head higher this year) during the same week last year.
Finally, 5,635 cows were processed by DAFM-approved beef plants last week, compared to 4,802 in the opening week of 2022.
Cow throughput is running 833 head higher compared to throughput levels this time last year.
2023 beef prices
The Irish beef trade has “started on a high note” in 2023, one producer told That’s Farming.
This publication has been informed that plants are forked out circa 5-10c/L above quotes to secure supplies.
Some plants are paying a base price of between €5.00-€5.10/kg for in-spec steers, and some are placing base quotes of €5.05/kg to as high as €5.15/kg for heifers.
P grade cows, with adequate flesh and over 270kgs dead (cold carcass weight), are trading from €4.20/kg upwards in some plants with tops of €4.80/kg for Rs in many factories.
It has been reported that some processors are forking out circa €5.00/kg for U grade cull cows, which is not far behind the current base price for prime in-spec bullocks and heifers.
Meanwhile, young U and R grade bulls are changing hands from a base of €5.00 to highs of €5.25/kg.
See more beef price updates.