Tighter numbers constrain beef production in June

Thursday, 14 July 2022

UK beef production fell by 12% in June from the previous month to 69,200 tonnes, according to the latest data from Defra. This was also 2% lower than June 2021.

Lower production was attributed to lower cattle kill, as prime carcase weights were on average 3kg (1%) heavier during June, when compared to May. A total of 154,800 prime animals were processed during the month, down 14% from May, and down 4% versus June 2021.

The number of cows slaughtered was 11% lower in June compared to May, at 45,600 head. However, this was 6% more than in June 2021.

For the first six months of 2022, UK prime cattle slaughter stood at 984,000 head, down 1% versus the same period a year ago, following a period of mixed performance versus 2021. On the other hand, cow slaughter has been running above year-ago levels since March, and so was up 3% year-on-year for Jan-Jun, at 305,200 head based on Defra statistics.

Graph showing UK beef production for Jan-June 2022

This means beef production for the year-to-date stood at 444,700 tonnes, largely stable (-0.2%) versus the same period in 2021.

If you’re wondering what cattle numbers and beef production could look like for the rest of the year, you may be interested in reading our Agri-Market Outlook. We will be releasing our next update to these outlooks over the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

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