More cattle forward in April than a year ago

Thursday, 12 May 2022

According to Defra’s latest production data release, 163,000 prime cattle were slaughtered in April, 7% fewer than March, but 1% more than the same month a year ago.

Within this, steer numbers remained lower year-on-year, while heifer numbers increased by 3%. Young bull numbers were steady versus last April.

A total of 47,000 cows were processed during the month, 16% lower than March, but 3% more than April 2021.

Average prime cattle carcase weights remained marginally heavier year-on-year in April, at 349kg. Cows continued to be lighter on average at 308kg.

Higher slaughter and heavier prime carcase weights meant that total beef production in April stood at 73,000 tonnes, 1% more than the same month a year ago.

In the year to April, Defra’s figures show that 650,000 prime cattle were slaughtered, down 3% versus the same period a year ago. Cow slaughter totalled 208,000 head, up 2% year-on-year. This meant that beef production totalled 296,000 tonnes, down 2% versus the same period a year ago.

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