Cattle kill down 2.4pc

Cattle numbers slaughtered last month were 2.4pc lower than in June last year according to the latest figures from the CSO. This was despite an 8pc increase in sheep slaughterings and a 9pc increase in the pig kill.

The number of cattle slaughtered in the first six months of this year was 4.3pc lower than last year. This corresponds to a 1,300hd fall in the average weekly kill.

Over the same period there was an increase of 1.8pc in sheep slaughterings and an increase of 9.1pc in pig slaughterings. Ireland showed a 5.8pc decrease in cattle slaughterings between January and April this year compared to last, while the United Kingdom and France recorded increases of 10.6pc and 4pc respectively.

Reliance on cereals falls

Irish self-sufficiency in cereals has decreased further to 71pc last year from 81pc during the corresponding 2008/2009 period. The fall was mainly due to usable production of cereals decreasing by 16.2pc or 398,000t on 2008/2009 levels. The CSO figures show that the biggest drop was in wheat production, which fell by 30.5pc or 303,000t.

During the same period cereal imports increased by 16.8pc or 157,000t, driven largely by the more than doubling of barley imports to 195,000t.

Dairy sales to rise 30pc

Global demand for consumer dairy products is expected to grow by around 30pc from 2010 to 2020 driven by economic growth, urbanisation and the rising purchasing power of Asia's middle classes according to the Tetra Pak annual dairy index.

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The report says that consumption in the Asia-pacific region will see the biggest jump in volume terms but the fastest increase will be in Africa, where it's predicted that consumption will grow by more than 50pc during the course of this decade.

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