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.

Burger sales sizzle while lamb sales wilt in the hot weather

The recent run of hot and dry weather has led to substantial growth in BBQ foods (burgers, sausages and chicken) in the 12 weeks ending 15 July, according to the latest data from Kantar worldpanel. Unsurprisingly, beef burgers and grills sales increased significantly during the period. Volumes increased by 19% compared to last year’s levels, with fresh product being the real winner with a nearly…

Lamb prices hold steady

During the week ending 15 August, the GB liveweight NSL SQQ remained steady at 184.56p/kg, which may perhaps come as a surprise to some. This is almost 10p above the 5 year average for the time of year. Between Thursday 9th and Monday 13th the daily quote recorded strong week-on-week growth. However, on Tuesday 14th the quote slipped by 1.98p, to 183.9p/kg. Wednesday 15th followed…

High UK prices drive lamb trade flows in June

According to data from HMRC, UK reported exports of fresh/frozen sheep meat fell in June, compared with a year earlier, while imports rose. Both these trends were likely influenced by the high domestic price for lamb at that time. Reported exports of fresh/frozen sheep meat were 4,800 tonnes in June, 27% (1,800 tonnes) lower year-on-year. Export volumes to the key French market fell by 33%…

NZ sheep flock continues to decline

Beef and lamb New Zealand has recently published the results of the stock survey which was carried out in June 2018. The breeding ewe flock continues to decline and the lamb crop is estimated to be lower than in the previous year. Overall sheep numbers decreased an estimated 0.8% (-220,000 head) on the previous year to total 27.31 million. The number of breeding ewes has…

Prime cattle prices steady slightly

Deadweight cattle prices eased up a little on the sharp declines experienced in the previous few weeks, recording a less severe drop. In the week ended 11 August the GB all prime average slipped marginally, by 0.77p to finish the week on 353.23p/kg. The current price is much on the same level as the five-year average, however is 16.4p lower than in the same week…

Store cattle prices continue to be under pressure

Since the end of May, continental cross store cattle prices have come under pressure and currently stand at some of the lowest levels since 2014. Currently this period is the longest sustained period of prices trending at this level since the middle of 2014. Since the previous store cattle update, prices have generally continued to follow the same trends. Continental cross yearling steers prices have…

Cull cow market so far in 2018

With the current weather conditions industry reports have indicated farmers are sending more cows forwards. Throughout 2018 so far AHDB estimated cow slaughterings* have generally trended above year earlier levels. Since the end of June, there have been even sharper increases on year earlier levels. At the start of the year prices were exceptionally strong, which encouraged numbers forwards with demand for manufacturing beef reported…

UK beef exports up in the first six months of 2018

UK fresh/frozen beef exports increased by 14%, or 6,800 tonnes in the first half of the year to total 56,500 tonnes, with increases recorded to the top five export markets for UK beef. Notably, exports to the Netherlands were up 32% (+3,200 tonnes) during the period Jan-June while shipments to Germany increased by 60%, although at 2,600 tonnes this only represents 4.7% of the UK…

Liveweight lamb prices have warmed, while deadweight cools

GB liveweight SQQ prices have warmed once again, increasing by 7.72p week-on-week to 184.61p/kg during the week ended 8 August. At this level, the quote is below both 2017 and 2016 levels at this time of year, but is 4.42p above the five year average. Some price support could be coming from the upcoming Islamic festival of Eid-al-Adha. Throughout the week, daily prices have recorded…

Store lamb prices down year-on-year

With the store lamb sales now picking up, it is possible to see where prices stand. Store lamb prices are quoted per head rather than per kilogram; price changes can therefore be influenced by both the confidence of the market and the weight/finish level of the lambs. Since the start of June average store lamb prices have trended below last year, and from the end…

Lamb feed production boosted by snow and drought

Over the years there has been a trend towards feeding lambs more blend and compound feed, with the amount produced per head increasing. In the 2017-18 arable crop year (July to June) average feed production per lamb (2017 lamb crop) was four times higher than in the 1992-93 arable crop year (1992 lamb crop), according to AHDB GB animal feed production data and AHDB lamb…

Cattle prices still slipping, for now

Continuing the trend set out in July, deadweight cattle prices have slipped again during the most recent week. In the week ended 4 August, the deadweight all prime average slipped by almost 4p, to 354.0p/kg. This is the lowest the measure has stood since May 2017 and is in-line with the five-year average for this time of year. Within this, overall prices for steers and…