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.

Diverging trends in global lamb prices

Prices on the global lamb market are continuing to trend above historic levels. Prices in Australia dipped recently but have since begun to recover. Meanwhile, prices in New Zealand have slipped. In the week ending 25 October, trade lamb prices in Australia stood at 788 AUS cents/kg, a rise of 51 cents on-the-week, according to data from MLA’s NLRS. Converted to sterling, this is approximately…

Global cattle prices largely under pressure during October 2018

Around the world farmgate cattle prices vary, with there being various factors affecting prices. Some of these factors are more local in nature, and might include logistical and supply chain issues, such as transportation costs between farm, abattoir, cutting plant and dispatch location, or problems with processing capacity. Another influence might be the state of the domestic economy, and this is a particularly important in…

Cattle prices continue to decline

In the week ended 27 October, the GB all prime average quote slipped 1.59p, to 362.7p/kg. Despite sliding during recent weeks the measure continued to trend above year earlier levels and the five year average, by 3p and 5p respectively. Industry reports indicate that supplies are currently ahead of demand as farmers push to send cattle forwards before winter housing begins. Estimated slaughterings for the…

Store market update

Store cattle prices of all types of cattle took a sharp price drop throughout the summer and have struggled to return to previous levels. Continental type stores have fared the best during the last few weeks, recovering from a low point in August and in the week ending 13 October, 18 month continental cross steers averaged £909/head. This is however still £62/head lower than at…

Changes in EU sheep meat market

The UK typically accounts for just over a third of EU sheep meat production. Between January and July, slaughterings of lambs within the EU remained reasonably stable (down just 71,200 head), at around 22 million head, according to Eurostat data. What has changed significantly though is the origin of these lambs. Within the UK slaughterings decreased by 258,000 head during this period, click here to…

Sluggish lamb demand keeps prices down despite reduced throughputs

During the week ending 24 October, the GB NSL liveweight SQQ dropped by over 3p week-on-week, to average 164.26p/kg. The price rose marginally at this time last year and so the price is currently 2.75p below the same week in 2017. The price at the moment is quite typical for the time of year with the last three years all being within 7p of the…

The rise of native cattle

Recently, AHDB published an article around the most recent BCMS population data, from July 2018. Short term prime beef supplies, which is made up of dairy males and beef animals of both sexes between 12-30 months, were recorded as being marginally higher than in 2017. However these headline figures mask changing dynamics within the population, most specifically the increase of natively sired animals (for example…

Cow prices continue to decline

During the week ending 20 October the GB all prime average slipped by almost 2p, to 364.28p/kg. Despite this decline, the measure continues to trend above the five year average and is around 4p higher than the same week last year. Prime cattle prices do typically face some seasonal pressure at this time of year as farmers begin to prepare for housing cattle for winter.…

Feed market update – October 2018

Uncertainty over delays in Russian exports bolstered global wheat futures during the first half of the month, although this effect weakened as the month progressed. Increasing downward pressure from maize markets contributed to falling wheat prices, alongside lagging export sales of wheat from the EU and US. Total grain availability was revised up in the latest IGC estimates (27 September), driven by increased maize production…

UK beef exports down in August

UK fresh/frozen beef exports during the month of August were 10% lower (-870 tonnes) than in 2017. Predominately driven by declines in deliveries to Ireland (-460 tonnes) and Hong Kong (-206 tonnes). There have been increases in exports to the Netherlands, up 16% in August to total 2,000 tonnes. This could be a product of high demand for manufacturing beef and high cull cow slaughterings…

Sheep meat exports continue to suffer from declining production

Following the trend set in the past few months UK reported exports of sheep meat have been below year earlier levels, according to data from HMRC. Total reported exports stood at 7,200 tonnes during August, down 6% (500 tonnes). Shipments to France recorded a sharper decline (down 12% or 500 tonnes), which may be reflective of trends set earlier in 2018; the UK has been…

Under finished lambs potentially weighing on market

During the week ending 17 October, the GB NSL liveweight SQQ slipped a 1p week-on-week, to 167.66p/kg. Despite the fall the premium to year earlier levels has increased again. Throughputs have increased 1% this week to 103,500 head; however are significantly below year earlier levels. For the past few weeks throughputs have been gently rising. Lambs have been slower to finish this year, and now…