According to the LMC, Northern Ireland’s prime cattle kill is projected to come in at 355,982 head – up from 344,373 cattle in 2021.
Cow slaughterings are forecast to total 105,550 head in 2022, up from last year’s figure of 104,694.
The throughput of other cattle, which includes calves and bulls, is projected to total 11,000 head this year. This is a drop from the 11,420 figure for 2021.
It is the LMC’s belief that total cattle throughput for 2022 is projected to reach 472,532 head: the figure for 2021 was 463,616.
A spokesperson for the commission said:
“In overall terms, cattle slaughterings are projected to rise by just under 9,000 head this year.”
“This is a relatively small increase and points, very much, to a ‘steady as she goes’ set of affairs unfolding for 2022.”
How does the LMC make its predictions?
It made the above assumptions which it had built into its prediction model:
- Live imports for direct slaughter from the Republic of Ireland to continue at current levels
- Exports to the Republic of Ireland for direct slaughter to continue at similar levels
- Live imports and exports to GB will be lower than previous years
- Calf exports to the continent to remain unchanged
- The current level of beef sires used on dairy herd to continue
- No change in relative beef price differential across the British Isles in 2022
- Also, there will be no substantial movement in exchange rates
- There will be no substantial disease outbreak in 2022
- Furthermore, there will be no substantial changes in disease controls
- Northern Ireland’s beef and dairy breeding herds to remain steady in 2022
- Dairy markets to remain stable over the next 12 months
This time last year, the LMC published its cattle slaughter forecast for 2021.
A spokesperson said that the actual figures for the last 12 months, now available, confirm that the projections were “spot on the money”.
In a statement, LMC Chief Executive, Ian Stevenson, said:
“It is important for farmers and processors to have a strong degree of trust and reassurance in the analysis work that we carry out on their behalf throughout the year.”
“It is also appropriate to project ahead at this time of the year to allow industry operators to help inform their own business plans with a strong degree of accuracy.”
To compile its annual slaughter projections, LMC uses its own “sophisticated” software systems plus all the relevant data that it can source from stakeholder bodies in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and further afield.
“We also have to make several assumptions relating to matters such as possible cattle imports from the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK,” Ian further explained.
“But, we already have many years’ data on record, where these matters are concerned.”
“In turn, this allows us to include estimates, when required, that are based on well defined annual trends,” he said.