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.

Feed production continues to increase as autumn turns to winter

During the late summer and autumn of 2018, production of cattle and sheep feed increased on year earlier levels, according to AHDB data. This is the second consecutive year of sharp annual increases in feed production recorded at this time. Not only has more feed been produced, but the Defra agricultural price index shows that farmers were also paying a higher per tonne price in…

Lamb prices continue to shoot upwards

During the week ending 9 January, the GB liveweight OSL SQQ gained 4.3p week-on-week, to stand at 197.59p/kg. Compared to the five year average the quote stands almost 19p higher, as well as being almost 15p above the same week last year. Auction market throughputs for the week totalled 112,172 head, up 5% year-on-year. In the week ended 5 January, the GB deadweight OSL SQQ…

New country focus reports released by AHDB

Valuable insight into how the UK can grow its meat and dairy exports in key markets has been revealed in three new reports – launched recently at the Oxford Farming Conference. The new ‘Country Focus Reports’ focusing on China, the USA and Japan, provide a topline look at consumer eating habits and buying behaviour in these key target markets. In 2017, the work of the…

GB lamb prices remained strong to the close of 2018

The final quarter in the sheep sector is usually the time when slaughterings flatten out and prices rise into the festive season, and 2018 was no different, as prices continue to track well above historical levels. Typically, the seasonal decline of the liveweight SQQ price starts as we move into Q3 and will continue to fall until around half-way through Q4. On average, the liveweight SQQ…

EU beef quotas continue to fill during latter half of 2018

EU beef quotas have long been attractive to major beef exporters around the world, and have continued to be so during recent months. In the last management period, which ended June 2018, 75% of the total EU high quality beef quota (also known as the Hilton beef quota) was filled. During the current management period (July 2018 till June 2019), up until November just over…

Increased heifer slaughterings drive EU beef production up

EU beef production between Jan-September 2018 was up slightly, by around 2%, totalling 5.85 million tonnes. This was driven by a large increase in heifer slaughterings and a more modest increase in cow slaughterings. Total fresh/frozen beef (Non-EU) imports are also up, and exports down. The data suggests that supplies available for consumption within the EU-28 increased somewhat during 2018. Overall slaughterings in Europe in…

Finished cattle prices dip in the New Year

During the last week of 2018, finished cattle prices recorded an increase, going against the trend of recent weeks, but with the start of the New Year that trend may have returned. During the week ending 5 January, the GB deadweight all prime average decreased by 2.2p week-on-week, to 352.5p/kg. Currently the measure stands just over 10p below year earlier levels. Estimated slaughterings for the…

Prime cattle prices rise at year end

Deadweight cattle prices changed direction in the last week of 2018. The GB all prime average price rose by 3.8p in the week ending 29 December to finish the week on 354.65p/kg. The price is still below both the five year average and the 2017 price, by around 4p and 9p respectively however it is a more promising sign for producers going into 2019. The…

Lamb prices start the year higher

In the most recent two weeks the upward momentum for finished lamb prices has continued. Industry reports have indicated that there has been a pickup in demand for lamb from France, and not only indicate that more British lamb was on promotion in French supermarkets during December, but also that some French importers have begun to stockpile lamb in-case of a hard Brexit scenario. During…

A brief global 2019 beef and lamb outlook

Food industry consultancy Gira is forecasting growth in global beef and lamb production in 2019, accommodating increasing global demand as the population and per capita income continues to rise. Global beef production is forecast to grow by 1.4% to 69 million tonnes cwe, with nearly 17% of this destined to be traded internationally. Expanding production continues to be led by the US (supported by low…

Increases in on-farm costs prevent profits from rising further

In early November, Defra released Farm Business Income (FBI) data for England for 2017/18 which showed that all farms apart from specialist pig farms had recorded an increase in income. More detailed results have now been released. These results showed that at least 10% of farms in each sector, apart from dairy, failed to make a profit. Defra publishes the results as an average, and…

Volume of red meat sales under pressure in autumn

The fresh primary meat and poultry market was already expanding in response to Christmas in the 12 weeks to 2 December, according to Kantar Worldpanel. However, the festive spirit didn’t permeate all sections of the meat market across the period. Total primary meat recorded 0.5% year-on-year growth in sales volumes, however declines in average price meant total spend was actually down 0.7%. Meanwhile, processed products…