February 15, 2021


AHDB: UK beef production lower in January



The latest statistics from Defra show that UK beef production in January was 76,400 tonnes, 3% lower than the same month last year, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said.


A total of 166,200 prime cattle and 55,100 cows were slaughtered, down 2% and 6% on the year, respectively. Steer slaughter was 4% lower at 84,400 head, while heifer and young bull slaughter were both 1% lower year-on-year.


Average UK prime cattle carcase weights were virtually unchanged from last January, at 348.8kg.


Looking by country, prime throughputs were lower in both England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but higher in Scotland. A total of 100,000 prime cattle were killed in England and Wales during the month, down 6% from January 2020.


Northern Irish throughputs were down 3% at 29,000 head. Scottish throughputs, however, were up 12% on the year at 37,000 head, with increases in all cattle types.


AHDB's forecast for 2021 is that total UK cattle slaughter will fall by around 5% year-on-year, due to tighter cattle availability. This is expected to contribute to a 5% year-on-year reduction in beef production.