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.

Some uplift in liveweight lamb trade

The GB liveweight lamb trade picked up again in week ended 29 August, following a decline in the previous week. The GB SQQ increased by 3.42p on a week earlier to stand at 183.62p/kg. However, with a stronger price uplift in this week last year, the price difference compared to the same period in 2017 widened again, leaving the current figure almost 9p lower. Nonetheless,…

EU beef demand nothing to write home about

The EU beef market seems to have struggled somewhat in 2018 so far, with household panel surveys in the key consuming countries indicating demand has been falling this year. While UK burger and mince sales have blossomed under the summer sun, the ground beef market in France (which includes burgers and steak haché) does not show the same positivity. French Kantar Worldpanel data indicates sales…

Cattle prices continue rally

Deadweight cattle prices continued to show an uplift after the sharp declines experienced throughout July. In the week ended 25 August the GB all prime average rose by 4.36p to finish the week on 361.78p/kg. The current price is 5.3p above the five-year average, but still around 10p below the 2017 price in late August. Steer and heifer prices recorded increases much in line with…

Feed market update – August 2018

The dry, fine weather meant that the GB harvest kicked off early this year, which has resulted in the harvest pace to be above average for most crops. As of 14 August, 75% of the total GB cereal and oilseed crop area had been harvested, which is at least a week ahead of harvest progress at the same point over the last five years. Some…

Lamb prices breaking records around the world, but can they go higher?

Some exceptional lamb prices have been recorded around the world. Prices in Australia have reached such heights that they exceed the equivalent GB price. Until recently this would have been unusual, the GB price is typically around £1/kg above the Australian price. The current difference between Australian and GB prices (approximately -25p) is the lowest it has been in a price series that dates back…

EU beef quota usage

When talking about EU beef quotas, the two that get most mention are the high quality beef (HQB) quota, also known as the Hilton quota, and the autonomous beef quota, known as the ‘EU 481 grain fed quota’. However, there are several other EU beef quotas as well. Some are allocated in line with calendar years, while others align to the WTO year, July to…

Lamb slaughter supported by festival demand

During the week ending 22 August, the GB liveweight SQQ slipped by 4.36p on the week, to stand at 180.20p/kg. This puts the price 10.38p higher than the 5-year average. Between Thursday 16 August and Friday 17 August, the daily quote climbed by nearly 3p before falling back again each day throughout the remainder of the week. Total auction market throughputs for the week stood…

NZ cattle numbers increase on the year

Beef and Lamb New Zealand recently released the stock number survey for the beef sector. The report summarises the results of a survey carried out to estimate the numbers of sheep and beef cattle on the ground as of 30 June 2018. This article summarises the findings of the beef herd. The number of beef cattle increased 1.9%, or 68,000 head to total an estimated…

Some recovery in GB cattle prices

Following six weeks of decline, deadweight cattle prices picked up again in the week ending 18 August. The GB all prime average rose by over 4p to 357.43p/kg. Signs of recovery in pasture conditions, and falling prices in previous weeks, have probably reduced the incentive to send cattle for slaughter. Indeed, estimated prime slaughterings fell by 600 in the week, to 28,700 head. The pool…

Pasture productivity

Recently the European Commission commissioned research into pasture productivity for Europe. The UK is far from being the only country affected by a long dry spell, the adverse weather experienced across much of the UK is widespread across all of Northern Europe. Specifically looking at the growing season of 2018, a summary of the findings is detailed below. Dry and hot conditions persist in northern…

UK beef production continues to trend above last year

During July, UK beef and veal production continued to trend above 2017 levels, according to the latest data from Defra. Reported at 76,100 tonnes, this represents a 5% (3,500 tonnes) increase compared to July 2017. This brings the year-to-date production to 531,800 tonnes, 3% (13,500 tonnes) above the same the same period last year. Prime cattle slaughterings increased 2% (3,500 head) year-on-year, to 163,300 head.…

July 2018 sheep meat production – Defra revises sheep slaughter figures

In the latest statistics release, Defra have made revisions to sheep slaughtering figures going back to November 2017. Clean sheep slaughterings in April and May 2018 were especially affected, declining by 20,000 head and 29,100 head respectively. The revisions to slaughterings have also had an effect on production, which is now quoted as 2% lower than previously across these two months. According to the latest…