September 28, 2021


AHDB: Cattle supplies constrict UK beef production in August



A total of 73,200 tonnes of beef and veal was produced in the United Kingdom in August, similar to what was produced in July and 2% lower compared to the same month a year ago according to Defra figures, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said.


During the month, 159,700 prime cattle were slaughtered, 3% (4,400 head) fewer than a year ago. Within this, steer slaughter fell by 3% to 78,600 head, heifer kill fell by 2% to 63,800 head, and young bull kill fell by 3% to 17,400 head. Slaughter of cull cows remained stable at 54,400 head.


Average UK prime cattle carcase weights generally increased in August year-on-year. Steers averaged 360kg (+1.2kg), heifers averaged 325kg (+0.3kg) and young bulls averaged 356kg (+4.9kg). Cull cows were on average 1.6kg lighter at 305kg.


For the year-to-date (January-August), UK beef production stood at 593,000 tonnes, 4% lower than the same period a year ago. Prime cattle slaughter totalled 1.32 million head, down 4%, while cow kill stood at 402,300 head, down 5%.


These figures are largely in-line with AHDB latest forecast, its livestock analyst Hannah Clarke said. Cow kill typically picks up towards the end of the year as the winter housing period draws closer, and there may be more animals coming forward, she noted.