The meat export plant figures for the year to 25 May, supplied by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, highlight a 9% increase in the prime cattle slaughter year-on-year in contrast to a drop of almost 4% for GB over the same period.
Cattle throughput totalled 582,186 head for the year-to-date in RoI, with an increase of almost 5% in the slaughter of heifers but a small drop in throughput of young bulls.
Provisional figures covering the same period for Northern Ireland point to a similar year-on-year increase of over 11% in cow throughput and over 6% in heifers, while total cattle numbers processed at meat export premises are thought to have increased by over 5% to 179,675 head.
Farmers on both sides of the border have suffered from a shortage of fodder after poor growing conditions last year and the cold snap this Easter, prompting earlier marketing of stock to mitigate additional forage costs. Throughput numbers have increased week-on-week throughout the year as the fodder crisis escalated.
Higher prices have also prevailed this year, with a strong market reported for cows including record trading levels in auction marts.
In RoI, throughput totalled 178,749 head for steers and 135,366 head for cows in the year-to-date.