UK beef production lower in October

Thursday, 12 November 2020

According to the latest Defra figures, the UK produced 80,700 tonnes of beef and veal in October, up 4% from September. Despite the monthly rise, production during October this year was down 7% (5,700 tonnes) from the year before, and down 4% on the five-year average.

The October figures bring UK beef production for the year-to-date to 775,300 tonnes, 2% higher than production during the same period in 2019.

A total of 172,600 prime cattle were slaughtered during October, 7% (13,700 head) fewer than a year ago. All prime groups had lower numbers killed, with most of the fall coming from steers (-6,300 head). Cow slaughter for the month totalled 66,400 head, also down 7% (4,800 head) on a year ago.

Average carcase weights for October have been slightly heavier this year, with prime cattle averaging 343kg and cows averaging 304kg (both up 1% on 2019).

The October figures bring prime slaughter from Jan-Oct to 1.71 million head, still 2% higher than the same period last year. Cow slaughter for the year-to-date is now 551,900 head, up 1% on 2019.

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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