The average beef carcass weighs 48.5 kg in two years

The average carcass weight in the Irish beef sector has plummeted over the past two years, data from the Central Statistics Office shows.

The average carcass weight of all cattle slaughtered up to the end of July this year is 323 kg, compared with 329.77 kg for the same seven months in 2021 – and 371.5 kg for the same period in 2020. That’s a decrease of 48.5 kg in two years.

Although the number of animals slaughtered by the end of July this year is only 3,400 fewer than the same period in 2020, the total reduction in carcass weight is 53,900 t.

This year’s slaughter figures through the end of July were 1,085,600 t, up 8.3 percent from 2021 (1,001,900 t), with the amount of slaughter meat produced increasing by 20,300 t but the average carcass weight falling by 6.77 kg.

According to industry sources, three factors have influenced the decline in the amount of beef produced:

■ The decimation of the bull meat industry;

■ The proliferation of the Angus breed, which matures at lower weights;

■ The increase in the number of lighter dairy herds slaughtered. The average beef carcass weighs 48.5 kg in two years

Fry Electronics Team

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