Irish beef throughputs begin to recover

Thursday, 25 June 2020

While GB cattle prices have rallied strongly over recent weeks, the post-coronavirus recovery of Ireland’s beef throughputs could cast uncertainty over their performance in the short-term.

Ireland’s beef sector has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to its reliance on exports to UK and European foodservice markets. In April, Irish fresh/frozen beef exports were down 35% to the EU and 18% to the UK year-on-year.

As a result of lower foodservice demand and furloughing of abattoir staff, Irish cattle throughput has been heavily reduced of late, by nearly 25% in some weeks during the height of the pandemic.

This means that currently, Irish abattoirs are around 37,000 head behind where they were for cattle slaughter at the same week last year, meaning there is still a substantial backlog of cattle to work through. Supplies will likely be plentiful for some time.

For sheep on the other hand, slaughterings of hoggets and spring lambs are 5% and 16% above what they were last year, respectively.

Cattle throughputs have been recovering in June, as abattoir capacity returns to normal and the UK and European foodservice sector slowly reopens. However, Irish cattle prices have not risen as GB prices have in the last few weeks, suggesting that any supplies that do come our way are likely to be more price-competitive.

Image of staff member Hannah Clarke

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

See full bio


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.

Visit the Keep in touch page

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.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at info@ahdb.org.uk  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved. 

Topics:

Sectors:

Tags:

×