Live export numbers collapse
The number of animals exported live in the first half of this year has fallen by almost 95,000, according to the latest figures from Bord Bia.
This represents a 40pc crash in total numbers from more than 236,000 in the first six months of last year to 142,000 during the same period this year.
The impact of this increase will be magnified by the simultaneous surge in calvings during the first four months of the year, when more than 70pc of the national herd calve.
This year saw a 3.1pc increase -- or 41,000 extra calves -- hit the ground during this period. This increase occurred despite a 3pc fall in the number of beef-cross calves born during this period, according to the latest figures from the Animal Identification and Movement unit in the Department of Agriculture.
The 13pc -- or 67,000 -- surge in calves sired by dairy bulls more than made up for the fall in beef calves.
The combined effect of these increases will result in an extra 100,000 animals being presented for slaughter in 2013, according to Bord Bia beef analyst Joe Burke.
"The fall-off in live exports this year has been totally driven by the strong domestic prices for stock," he said.