Data from Defra show that the production of red meat and offal increased by 5% iin the first half of 2010 compared to last year.
Beef and veal production rose by 9%, to almost 460,000t, with slaughterings up by 5% and prime cattle carcass weights more than 10kg higher year on year.
The Agriculture & Horticultural Development Board's latest report says 'Following the high prices recorded for all classes of store cattle at the spring sales, finishers have taken cattle through to hearvier slaughter weights as the finished trade has eased in an attempt to maximise returns from their bought-in cattle.
The report went on to say that 'lamb supplies continue to be tight as a result of the declining breeding flock and possible increased ewe lamb retentions' and mutton and lamb production fell by 15% to 115,000 due to a 15% drop in slaughterings. This drop was most pronounced in Northern Ireland with a 27% fall which was a direct result of the drop of breeding flock numbers.
Pig meat production increased by 8% over the same period to 370,000t. Average carcass weights were about 1kg higher than last year and slaugherings were 6% up on last year.