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.

UK sheep meat trade grows in value in March

The UK imported 10,400 tonnes of fresh/frozen sheep meat during March, a 2% (200 tonnes) decline year-on-year, according to the latest data from HMRC. Reduced imports from Australia contributed to the decline, with imports falling 59% (700 tonnes) to 500 tonnes compared to the same month last year. Similarly, imports from Ireland also declined, falling by 30% (200 tonnes) year-on-year to 600 tonnes.  Meanwhile, imports…

Poland targets higher value beef exports

Total fresh/frozen beef exports from Poland were up 42,000 tonnes (+12%) in 2017 compared to 2016 while value was up £287 million (+30%). Polish beef has a good reputation in Italy and that country is now the main export market. Exports of fresh/frozen beef in 2017 grew 8% year-on-year to total 85,500 tonnes.  Exports volumes of fresh/frozen beef to Turkey have increased by 6,900 tonnes…

Liveweight lamb prices slip, while deadweight move up again

During the most recent weeks, liveweight and deadweight lamb prices recorded movements in different directions. In the week ended 16 May, the GB liveweight OSL SQQ declined by 4.1p, to 237.03p/kg. Although this is the second consecutive week of declines the measure still currently stands well above year earlier levels (+46.75p). The GB liveweight NSL SQQ remained steady on the previous week (+0.5p), to 303.96p/kg.…

More shoppers purchase lamb, but buying less

Retail data covering the Easter period is now available. In the 12 weeks ending 22 April, the total spend on fresh/frozen primary lamb increased by 2% on the year, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. However, the total volume sold decreased by 6%. Shoppers can be price sensitive and therefore the decline in volume may have been partly due to the 9% increase…

Prime cattle averages continue upwards

In the week ended 12 May 2018, GB all prime average gained 1.58p on-the-week, to 365.56p/kg. This price is currently 12p higher compared to year earlier levels. The gap between 2018 prices and the five year average has been widening since mid-March, and is still increasing, with prices now over 19p above the five year average. Industry reports suggest demand could stay ahead of supplies…

Little change in producer share of beef retail price

The producer share of beef retail prices has remained reasonably steady so far in 2018, and stood at 51% in April, according to AHDB estimates. The retail price of the individual cuts themselves has also been relatively stable since March. Since the start of the year, the producer share has remained within a one and a half percentage point range. In March, the average farmgate…

Consumption of sheep meat in MENA

The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is a huge region with a varied consumer market. Sheep meat is a very important protein in much of the region due to its association with religious festivals and family celebrations. Premium lamb and import demand are expected to grow over the coming years especially in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, driven by an increase in disposable incomes,…

UK trade in beef grows in first quarter

UK imports of fresh/frozen beef were up in the first quarter, to total 69,200 tonnes (+8% year on year). Imports for fresh/frozen beef from Ireland were up 4,000 tonnes (+9%) for the first quarter, accounting for much of the increase overall. However, shipments from the Netherlands, Poland and Germany all decreased slightly and collectively were down over 1000 tonnes (-8%) for the first quarter of…

The producer share of lamb retail prices climbs on upwards

The producer share of retail prices increased significantly for lamb during April. The producer share of the lamb retail price has shot up in the past three months, having gained 17 percentage points since January, and currently stands at 67% which is the highest the producer share for lamb has been in records which go back ten years. This is also 16 percentage points higher…

Deadweight lamb prices gaining

The GB OSL liveweight SQQ remained steady on the previous week, declining by just 1.5p, to 241.14p/kg in the week ending 9 May. The quote is still trending well above year earlier levels. The NSL measure followed a similar trend (-1.3p), to stand at 303.45p/kg. Total throughputs for the week stood at 102,900 head which is a similar number to the same week last year…

EU beef production higher in early 2018

Total EU beef production for the first two months of 2018 was up 4%, to 1.3 million tonnes, compared with the same period 12 months ago. EU-15 production was also up over 3.5% in the first two months of 2018, after falling in 2017, and despite further decreases predicted in 2018 by the European Commission. The four biggest EU producers (France, UK, Germany and Italy)…

Australian beef production forecast revised up

Australian cattle slaughterings have increased by 10% (113,000 head) in the year-to-February, to 1.15 million head, according to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). As a result, the slaughter forecast for 2018 has been increased to 7.48 million head, a 4% increase on the year. So far this year, female slaughterings have increased by 16%. Despite this lift, the overall proportion still remains below the historical…