May 17, 2021


UK beef production up 2.7% in April 2021


Beef production in the United Kingdom was 2.7% higher in April 2021 compared to year earlier levels, according to Defra figures, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reported.


In April, 75,800 tonnes of beef and veal was produced, 2,000 tonnes more than the same month last year. This increase in production was due to more cattle slaughtering during the month.


Prime cattle slaughter for the month totaled 171,000 head, 0.7% higher year-on-year. Steers, heifers and young bulls all had higher slaughtering than year earlier levels.


Adult cattle slaughter totaled 48,500 head in April, an increase of 6.3% on year earlier levels. This notable year-on-year increase is partially due to reduced throughput this time last year as the UK entered its first pandemic lockdown.


Cow throughput accounted for most of this increase up 2,600 head year-on-year to 47,200 head, while adult bull slaughter increased by 300 head to total 1,300 head. Cow carcase weights were up 1.5% year-on-year in April, averaging 313.5kg.


Prime cattle carcase weights rose across all categories in April both on the previous month and on the same month last year.


Steers averaged 364.7kg, up 1kg on the previous month and 0.5kg on the previous year. Heifers averaged 331.4kg, up 2.9kg on the previous month and 3.5kg on year earlier levels.


Young bulls remained relatively unchanged on the month at 348kg.