Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

12pc slip in July cattle kill puts floor under quotes

Declan O'Brien and Darragh McCullough

The cattle kill for last month was nearly 12pc back on the same month last year, reflecting the general fall-off in supplies of stock.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the kill for the month fell by 15,800hd compared with 12 months ago. The total kill for last month was 118,900hd, back from 134,700hd last year.

The drop in kill numbers was reflected in a significant drop in beef output. Beef production for last month was back 10pc compared with last year, dropping from 43,400t to 39,100t.


The weekly kill was running just under the 30,000hd mark compared with a 33,000-34,000hd average for last year.

Cattle slaughterings have fallen further over the past three weeks, with the weekly kill now averaging around 27,000hd.

Factory buyers tried last week to pull the price of cattle bought directly off farms and at the marts.

However, a shortage of heavy bullocks and heifers has kept factory quotes and mart prices high.

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The sheep kill for last month was just marginally back on last year's figure, with the number slaughtered falling from 234,500hd to 232,800hd, a drop of 1,700hd.

Total pig slaughterings were back from 225,900hd 12 months ago to 232,700 this year.

Meanwhile, meat processor, Dunbia has announced that it will appeal Westmeath County Council's decision not to grant planning permission for Dunbia to extend its factory in Kilbeggan.


Dunbia employs 208 people in the Republic and buys €100m worth of cattle here annually.

Dunbia managing director Padraig Browne said that the company had thought long and hard about the decision to appeal, but the support the plant had received locally had driven it to take its application to An Bord Pleanala.

"Over the past number of weeks we have carefully considered our options for consolidating our business in Ireland," Mr Browne said. "We still believe that Kilbeggan is the most viable site for this consolidation and we feel we must pursue all avenues open to us to progress these plans."

Commenting on the decision to block the development, Mr Browne said he was extremely disappointed that several councillors voted against the plans.

"Out of 23 councillors, 16 voted in favour of our development and because of the requirement for a 75pc majority, we lost out by only one vote," he added.

"As this was such a slim margin and the majority of councillors supported our plans, I feel progressing our application with An Bord Pleanala is the right decision."

Dunbia claims that the expansion plan involves a €12m investment and would create 80 permanent and 100 short-term jobs if given the green light. A further €2.5m would be added to the local economy through increased wages.

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