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.

EU beef quotas continue to be as popular as ever

Under EU regulations there are many different beef quotas. One of the key ones is the ‘EU 481 grain fed quota’, which is also known as the autonomous beef quota. Under this quota 45,000 tonnes of beef could be shipped in during the 2018/19 management year. Typically, the majority of the quota is utilised. During quarter three of 2018, 99.7% of the quarterly allowance of…

Use of maize in animal feed production increases

In total during quarter three of 2018 GB animal feed production totalled almost 3.5 million tonnes, up 4% year-on-year, according to the latest data from AHDB. This figure includes feed for poultry (including integrated poultry units) as well as feed for pigs, cattle and sheep. Total sheep feed production stood at 143,500 tonnes, up 43% (43,000 tonnes) year-on-year. A rise was recorded in all categories…

Diverging trends in lamb prices, as throughputs finally record some up-lift

For two weeks running now liveweight lamb prices have risen. During the week ending 7 November the GB liveweight NSL SQQ gained 2.46p, to 169.57p/kg. However, despite this rise the quote fell behind year earlier levels although it remains well above of the five year average. Again, auction market throughputs have continued to trend below year earlier levels, down 6% to 107,400 head. New season…

EU beef update

EU beef production in August 2018 was relatively stable on the year, increasing by only 1.8% to 672,700 tonnes. This brought the total beef production for the year so far to 5.2 million tonnes, 2.2% higher than the same period in 2017. Of the top EU producers, total beef production in Germany, France and UK in August remained steady, with marginal decreases of just 2.3%…

Asia continues to drive global beef demand

In recent years, the Asian continent has been a significant growth area for global beef exports. Underpinned by numerous emerging economies and growing household incomes throughout the region, beef exports in 2018 continue to grow at an astounding rate. Asia now accounts for almost 50% of total global beef imports (including imports from both within and outside Asia). The top five beef importers in Asia…

Increased throughputs weigh on prime cattle price

Deadweight cattle prices in the week ending 3 November fell slightly on the week by 0.85p to 361.85p/kg. Despite this small weekly decline, the GB prime cattle price remains 2.2p above year earlier levels and 4.1p higher than the five year average. Weekly changes in price were seen across the different specifications. The overall steer price was down 2.1p on the week to 362.6p/kg. Conversely,…

Just how many new season lambs have come forwards so far in 2018?

AHDB is currently forecasting the UK lamb crop to stand at around 17 million head in 2018, a 6% (1.1 million head) decline year-on-year. In total for the 2018 calendar year, the forecast is for 12.7 million clean sheep to be slaughtered, this includes new season and old season lambs. Of last year’s lamb crop (which is estimated to have been 18.1 million head), AHDB…

Meat retail sales decline, while supplies available increase

The latest retail data for GB has now been released and the 12 week trend has changed little since the previous update. During the 12 weeks ending 7 October burgers and sausages continued to sell well, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. During the period retail sales of fresh & frozen beef declined by almost 5% year-on-year in volume, however due to shelf…

Rising farmgate prices push up FBI, but increased feed costs prevent further rises

Defra has now released Farm Business Income (FBI) data for England for 2017/18. Average Farm Business Income increased for all farms apart from specialist pig farms, according to the Farm Business Survey (FBS) data from Defra. Perhaps un-surprisingly, exchange rate changes were a large influencing factor. A weaker pound leading to price rises for a number of commodities, and increasing the value of the Basic…

Lamb throughputs continue to struggle

During the week ending 31 October, the GB NSL liveweight SQQ rose on the week, by just less than 3p to average the week on 167.11p/kg. The price is now much the same as last year and still remains close to the five year average.   At 94,000 head, auction market throughputs continue to be lower week-on-week. Throughputs were down 2% on the week and…

Irish beef update – higher production in 2018

According to data from the Central Statistics Office for Ireland production for the first 9 months of 2018 increased by 0.7%, driven by a 3% year on year increase in total cattle slaughterings amounting to 1.4 million head. Much of this can be attributed to the sharp increase in slaughterings in July following the summer drought, which has since levelled out. There are currently some…

Australian export growth slows in September

Australian fresh/frozen beef exports between January and September of this year are up by 12% to all destinations to total 840,000 tonnes, according to data from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). China remains the main area of growth for Australian exports, up 55% in the year to September 2018 compared to a year earlier. Particularly strong growth has been recorded in chilled products, albeit from…