The January beef kill is 11 per cent higher so far in 2014 than at the same stage last year, last week’s kill was also up slightly on the previous week.

Statistics released from the Department of Agriculture yesterday show that 31,706 beef animals were killed last week, which is 1,229 up on the previous week. Cumulatively 87,797 head of cattle have been killed so farm in 2014, compared to 79,252 at the same stage in 2013

Although the steer kill was down slightly last week on the previous week, the kill is well up on the same week last year. Some 9,500 steers were killed last week compared to 7,945 in 2013. Which represents a 19 per cent increase over the same period.

In terms of the young bull market, some 5,559 bulls were slaughtered some 1,326 higher than the previous week. However the kill is still well behind the same week last year and down some 23 per cent down cumulatively, compared to 12 months ago.

The heifer and cow kill was relatively unchanged last week on the previous week, however it is significantly up on the same period last year. In total 9,241 heifers and 6,351 cows were killed last week. Cumulatively the heifer and cow kill is up 21 and 15 per cent respectively on the same week last year.


Last week’s sheep kill was more or less unchanged on the previous week. The total weekly sheep kill was 42,017. Significantly though the kill is 14 per cent behind on the same period in 2013.

The figures show this fall is mainly due to much lower supplies of hoggets this January. During the third week of January in 2013 some 42,000 hogget’s were killed, this compares to only 15,227 this year a fall of 58 per cent.

The much-reduced January hogget kill is having a knock-on impact on the overall kill for the month so far. Some 127,507 sheep have been killed so far in 2014, 11 per cent lower than at the same stage in 2013.