Welcome to the AHDB Beef & Lamb Market news section.

The aim of the Market news section is to share market information and provide greater insight and analysis on market developments and industry issues in the beef and sheep meat sector.

Lamb trade post-Easter lull begins

Both the liveweight and deadweight hogget trade recorded a decrease in prices after the Easter trade came to a close. In the week ended 26 April, the GB OSL SQQ was back nearly 6p on the week to 180.1p/kg. This fall in prices comes as demand behind to fall after the Easter. Prices are still up 7p on the corresponding point in 2016, however at…

Sheepmeat production up in 2017

The latest AHDB Beef and Lamb forecasts for the UK sheep sector have been put together. With a large carryover of lambs into 2017, an increase in slaughterings is expected to be seen throughout the first half of the year. The 2017 lamb crop is expected to be in line with last year with a more normal seasonal marketing pattern. This is partly because seasonal…

Lower beef production this year

The latest AHDB Beef & Lamb forecasts for beef and veal supplies have been compiled. Lower carcase weights and fewer cow slaughterings mean beef and veal production for this year is forecast to be moderately down on last year. Despite the overall position being lower for beef and veal production, prime cattle numbers coming forward for slaughter are expected to be relatively robust. The full…

Cattle price climb continues

The deadweight cattle trade saw another boost in the most recent week, as the positive retail performance of beef continues to support demand for prime cattle from processors. In the shorter trading week ended 22 April, the GB all prime cattle average was up over a penny on the previous week to 347.87p/kg. This left the measure over 37p higher than in the same week…

USDA forecasts another year of production growth

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is forecasting another year of growth in global beef and veal production, by about 2%, to nearly 62 million tonnes in 2017. The gains will predominantly come from both North and South America, while Australian, South African and New Zealand producers concentrate on herd recovery in the aftermath of drought related problems. It is forecasting Australian production to…

Higher lamb production continues in March

In March, lamb slaughterings were 1% higher on the year at just over 1 million head, according to latest Defra figures. With auction market throughputs showing an increase in lambs, this comes as no surprise. However, it is important to note that due to the early Easter in 2016, there was one more working day in March 2017 compared with the year earlier. Therefore, making…

Value up but volume down for beef and veal exports

UK fresh/frozen beef and veal exports declined by 2% on the year in February, to 8,300 tonnes according to latest figures from HMRC. However, increased unit prices led to the value of exports increasing by 13% on the year, to over £29 million. The relative weakness of sterling, compared to a year ago, has enabled prices to rise in sterling whilst remaining competitive in euro…

Liveweight lamb trade lifts after Easter

Liveweight old season lamb prices have increased in the past week as numbers have fallen back after the bank holiday weekend. In the week ended 19 April 2017, the GB OSL SQQ was 185.9p/kg, an increase of 6p compared to the previous week. Prices remain 4p above the corresponding week in 2016, however the later onset of Easter this year has boosted trade. The total…

AHDB Beef & Lamb strategy to address key industry challenges

The post-Brexit world represents significant challenges for the beef and sheep sectors, both in terms of our trading relationships and what will replace existing farm support arrangements post-2020. At home, we are facing a long-term decline in beef and lamb consumption, together with increasing competition from other protein such as chicken, with consumers looking for meals that are quick, tasty and easy-to-prepare. On farm, the…

UK beef and veal output continued to decline in March

In March, prime cattle slaughterings decreased once again on the year by 5%, to 160,900 head, according to latest figures from Defra. This was despite the extra working day this year, due to the early Easter in 2016. The majority of the reduction was driven by a 6% (3,800 head) decline in heifer throughputs, which stood at 60,000 head. Steer slaughterings also fell by 4%…

Prime cattle prices moving up further

The deadweight cattle trade showed an increase for the third consecutive week, in week ended 15 April. The GB all prime average gained 1.6p reaching 346.5p/kg a much larger rise than in the two previous weeks. This price is now 33p/kg more than the equivalent week in 2016, when prices continued to fall sharply. Unlike in the week ended 8 April, prices rose in both…

No Easter treats for French lamb demand

Easter is the critical period for the French lamb market but demand has turned out to be disappointing this year. Prices of French lambs and lamb at all stages of the chain have been running lower year on year in the run-up to Easter. This in turn has impacted on wholesale prices of imported lamb. Demand has been running below last year’s levels throughout the…