No scarcity predicted over coming weeks
While the drop in calf births and the increasing switch to live shipping has already had an impact on the number of heifers and steers available for slaughter this year, Joe Burke did not expect cattle supplies to plummet before the year end.
"In theory there should be a shortfall of over 40,000 steers and heifers available for slaughter this autumn, but in practice I don't think that is going to happen," he said.
"Farmers may be less inclined to feed on stock this winter with rising grain prices. This will bring extra cattle on to the market. The good weather will also have an impact. Stock thrived better on grass in 2010 so there's more stock fit for the factory straight off grass," he added.
" There is also the possibility of less stock going for killing north of the Border this back-end when compared to 2009."