December 28, 2021


UK beef production stays lower than 2020 in November


The latest Defra figures show that UK beef production remained lower than 2020 levels in November, continuing a trend seen all year, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said.


A total of 166,000 prime cattle were processed during the month, 4% above October, but 5% below November a year ago. Within this, the majority of the fall was due to lower numbers of steers coming through (-6,200 head), followed by heifers (-2,900 head). Young bulls saw a slight increase in throughput.


Cow slaughter totalled 65,900 head for the month, up 6% from October but down 4% year-on-year. Tighter cattle supplies have been an ongoing theme for some time now, potentially exacerbated by increased kill in 2020, as the pandemic boosted beef retail demand and supported domestic cattle prices.


Coupled with lighter carcass weights, the November kill led to a total of 77,800 tonnes of beef being produced in the United Kingdom during the month, 6% below the same month last year.


In the year to November (inclusive), prime cattle slaughter stood at 1.8 million head, 5% below the same period a year ago.


Cow kill stood at 585,000 head, 6% lower year-on-year. Beef production over the same period fell 5% year-on-year to 818,400 tonnes.