Cattle supplies at export meat plants have surged in the past two weeks up 25 per cent and 17 per cent over the period. For the week ending 15th of March the kill stood at around 32,954 head, which was over 6,700 head higher than the equivalent week in 2013.

Cumulative supplies for the year are running around 28,000 head or nine per cent higher than the figures for the corresponding period last year.

This is largely being driven by an eight per cent rise in supply of steers on the same period last year while cumulative supply of heifers and cows were both up by over 10 per cent.

Interestingly the young bull situation has completely reversed with the kill up over 2,400 head or 62 per cent last week on the same week in 2013.

Click below to see beef kill table: [table id=17 /]

Northern Ireland

The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) report prime cattle throughput in the Northern Ireland (NI) plants last week totalled 6,787 head compared to 6,971 head the previous week. This has taken total prime cattle throughput for 2014 to date to 64,007 head, 3.8 per cent lower than the corresponding period in 2013.

It says the average prime cattle carcase weight during 2014 to date was 329kg compared to 332.4kg during the 2013 period. The lower throughput combined with this decline in average carcase weights has resulted in a five per cent drop in the volume of beef processed from prime cattle when comparing the two ten week periods.

The LMC also report that cow throughput was also back in the NI plants last week with 1,564 cows slaughtered compared to 1,768 cows the previous week. Cow throughput for 2014 to date is running 9.4 per cent behind throughput in the same period in 2013.

Interestingly it cites imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants last week totalled 533 head, the highest weekly import since early November 2013 and brings the total number imported for 2014 to date to 3,327 head.

It says exports of cattle from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of 74 prime cattle and 96 cows while exports to GB for direct slaughter consisted of 199 prime cattle and 45 cows.