The cattle kill fell by 17.9% in January 2021 compared with the same month last year, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.
Some 135,700 cattle were processed in factories in January 2021, down from the 165,400 in throughput on the same time last year – a drop of nearly 30,000 head.
The drop in the kill looks set to continue through February and, as reported in this week’s Beef Trends, the kill for the week beginning 15 February was 30,430 head.
This was down from the 36,623 cattle killed in the same week in 2020.
The sheep kill for January was also back year on year.
Some 219,900 sheep were processed in meat plants in the first month of 2021, back 13.2% from the 253,400 head killed in the same month in 2020.
Last week’s kill rose by 4,662 head to reach 46,359 head, which came on the back of an increase in factory prices of 20c/kg to 30c/kg.
The pig kill was also down year on year for the month of January.
It fell by 5.3%, with throughput for the month standing at 292,900 head.