LMC: Carcase Weights and Slaughter Rates Fall08 January 2013
NORTHERN IRELAND - Average prime cattle weights fell by 3.2kg from quarter 3 into quarter 4 and slaughter rates fell on 2011 figures by 11,594, report the Livestock and Meat Commission of Northern Ireland.
Prime cattle slaughterings during 2012 totalled 336,098 head a reduction of 11,594 head on 2011 when prime cattle throughput totalled 347,692 head. This reduction in the throughput of prime cattle represents a decline of three per cent year on year. There has however been a recovery in the availability of prime cattle as the year has progressed as indicated in Figure 1.
Table 1 outlines a breakdown of the
prime kill by quarter in 2011 and 2012.
In the first quarter of 2012 prime cattle
throughput was 14.7 per cent lower
than the corresponding period in 2011
and in the second quarter throughput
was 5.2 per cent lower with 4,320
fewer prime cattle slaughtered.
However increased availability of prime
cattle in the third quarter saw
throughput increase to 82,756 head,
an increase of 6.3 per cent on the
same period in 2011.
Prime cattle throughput in the final quarter of 2012 was 2.6 per cent ahead of the final quarter of 2011. The amount of beef from prime cattle processed obviously follows a similar trend to prime cattle throughput.
While beef production in the first two quarters of 2012 was below the levels seen in 2011 the amount of beef from prime cattle processed in the third quarter of 2012 was 7 per cent per cent ahead of the corresponding quarter in 2011. The amount of prime beef processed in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 1.7 per cent ahead of the same period in 2011.
There was also an increase in average carcase weight of prime cattle between 2011 and 2012 from 335.5kg in 2011 to 340kg in 2012. Much of this increase in carcase weights can be observed in the first half of 2012 as outlined in Table 2.
cattle carcase weights showed an
increase in the first three quarters of
2012 when compared to the
corresponding periods in 2011.
In quarter 2 the average prime cattle carcase weight was 342kg, 10.5kg heavier than the same quarter in 2011. However the average prime cattle carcase weight in the fourth quarter was 3.2kg lighter than the same period in 2011 at 335.8kg.
The combination of the increase in carcase weights in the first three quarters of 2012 and the increase in cattle throughput in the last half of 2012 has helped to offset the deficit in the amount of beef from prime cattle processed in the first half of 2012. At year end the total amount of beef processed from prime cattle was back 2.1 per cent between 2011 and 2012.
The amount of cow beef processed has however increased 5.6 per cent between 2011 and 2012 with an additional 7,957 cows slaughtered. During the first quarter of 2012 cow throughput was 6.1 per cent behind the same period in 2011. However in the second quarter the throughput of cows recovered and was 1.4 per cent above the corresponding period in 2011.
In the third and fourth quarters of 2012 the cow throughput was 19.2 per cent and 17.2 per cent higher respectively than the corresponding periods in 2011. It is likely that the wet summer and poor grass growing conditions encouraged producers to cull underperforming cows and thus the increase in cow slaughterings in the second half of the year.
There has been a drop in the average
cow carcase weight from 304.3kg in
2011 to 296kg in 2012. This is partly
due to an increasing number of dairy
bred cows in the slaughter mix but
forage shortages and high concentrate
prices at present may also have
resulted in producers marketing underfinished cows which will have resulted
in lower carcase weights.
The increasing availability of cows in the latter half of 2012 has helped to the latter half of 2012 has helped to increase the proportion of cows in the total kill from 19.9 per cent in 2011 to 21.7 per cent in 2012. The proportion of the total cattle kill made up of prime cattle has meanwhile declined from 77 per cent of the total kill in 2011 to 74.4 per cent in 2012 The combination of a decline in the prime kill and a marked increase in the cow kill has meant that the total cattle kill in 2012 was 1.3 per cent lower than 2011 with 446,023 cattle slaughtered compared to 451,716 the previous year. This is a reduction of 5,693 head, approximately half a week’s total kill. The lower factory throughput has resulted in a 1.1 per cent reduction in the total beef processed.