Thursday, 13 February 2020
By Felicity Rusk
In January 2020, UK slaughter of prime cattle totalled 170,200 head, only marginally less (-500 head) than the same month in the previous year, according to the latest data from Defra.
A decrease in prime slaughter was recorded in England and Wales. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland slaughter was up considerably on the year, which compensated somewhat for the recorded decline in England and Wales. Processors may still be working their way through the ‘backlog’ of cattle as a result of the strikes last year.
- England and Wales ↓1% to 107,000 head
- Scotland → at 33,000 head
- Northern Ireland ↑8% to 30,000 head
Slaughter of adult cattle declined by 1% on the year in January, totalling almost 60,000 head. While slaughter of adult bulls remained in line with last year, cow slaughter recorded a 1% decline (800 head), totalling 58,600 head.
Prime carcase weights in January averaged 348.1kg/head, 3.7kg (1.1%) heavier than in the previous year. All categories of prime animals recorded heavier average carcase weights, with heifers and steers weighing 4.7kg (1.4%) and 2.6kg (0.7%) heavier than the previous year respectively.
Carcase weights of cull cows were also heavier when compared to last year. Carcase weights averaged 311.3 kg/head, 5.2kg (1.7%) more than last year.
In January, UK production of beef and veal reached 78,800 tonnes, 0.7% more (550 tonnes) than in the same month last year. Although slaughter levels were lower overall, the heavier carcase weights were able to compensate somewhat.
Sign up for regular updates
You can subscribe to receive Beef and Lamb market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form.
While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.