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.

Japanese and South Korean beef imports continue to grow

Japan and South Korea are both keen consumers of beef and regard it as a premium protein. Japan imports the third largest amount of beef in the world while South Korea has the highest per capita consumption of beef in Asia. During the first half of the year, Japan imported over 280,000 tonnes of beef, up 4,300 tonnes (+1.5%) compared to the same period in…

Jeykll and Hyde weather of 2018 – the impact on the national breeding flock

This year the weather has reached highs and lows, both in terms of temperature and rainfall. Winter was cold and wet, the summer has been hot and dry. The number of days with ground frost increased significantly year-on-year during February and March. In contrast, during June the mean temperature was on average higher on the year, with significantly less rainfall. The poor conditions during lambing…

Ample lamb supplies on US market

The US is the world’s second largest importer of sheep meat, behind China and in front of the UK, despite low per capita consumption. Sheep meat is a niche product in the US. Sheep meat and offal import levels in the year to May were the highest on record, at 53,000 tonnes, which is a 2% growth on year earlier levels. Nearly all product (98%)…

Dutch beef imports higher in 2018

During the first four months of the year, total imports of fresh/frozen beef into the Netherlands were 138,000 tonnes, a 12% increase (+14,500 tonnes) when compared to the same period of 2017. Notably Belgium continues to send more beef to the Netherlands, with deliveries from Belgium up 5,900 tonnes (+37%) to total 22,000 tonnes, this has resulted in an almost 3 percentage point increase in…

2016 and 2015 cattle throughputs on the EUROP grid in England & Wales, and Scotland

At the point of slaughter, AHDB collects information about the fat class and conformation of every animal in its deadweight sample. This information is currently published on a weekly basis at a Great Britain level. However, it is also possible to look at the same information, but aggregated in a slightly different way. The tables below show the share of throughputs at each point of…

How the drought affects cattle feed usage

Weather conditions this year have been varied to say the least. During winter, tough conditions challenged farmers everywhere with cold and wet weather. As spring approached, many producers experienced snow throughout February and into March. The prolonged cold and wet weather meant turnout was delayed for many, by four to six weeks. We are now at the other extreme this summer with record breaking hot…

Australian and New Zealand lamb prices rise again

Prices in New Zealand and Australia reached record breaking heights recently, and have shown little sign of stopping. The New Zealand price has had 14 consecutive weeks of rises, with no week-on-week decline since the middle of February. In the most recent week the New Zealand North Island lamb price reached 820 cents/kg, according to NZ Farmers Weekly. Due to the GB deadweight lamb SQQ…

Straw prices continue to trend at high levels

Recently straw prices have been at record breaking highs. Although there was a small month-on-month decline in June, prices were still well above year earlier levels. During June, the price of a big square bale of barley straw in England and Wales averaged at £99/tonne, £3 lower month-on-month but still £45 above year earlier levels, according to data from British hay & Straw Merchants Association/Defra/Farmers…

Cooler weather cools liveweight lamb prices

Having recorded a small gain last week, liveweight lamb prices slipped again this week. In the week ending 1 August the GB NSL liveweight SQQ declined by 8.79p week-on-week, to 176.89p/kg.  This is the lowest the price has been at this time of year since 2015. Prices continue to come under sustained pressure as supplies outweigh current demand. As has been the case for many…

Potential far reaching effect of the heatwave on ewe feed usage

This year the weather has reached both highs and lows. Winter was cold and wet, while the summer has been hot and dry. At the end of February and through March much of the country experienced snow. Turnout, especially for cattle, was delayed across the country which has had an impact on forage supplies and feed usage carried over into winter 2018. Straw prices have…

Deadweight cattle prices back again on plentiful supply

GB cattle prices fell again last week. Both prime cattle and cow prices dropped further, with reports of continued long waiting times for farmers to get animals into abattoirs. There seems to be plentiful supplies of cattle to be slaughtered, but without an equivalent increase in demand, prices have come under pressure. This is unusual as July is a time of year when prices might…

Australian production increases as drought conditions persist

As one of the world’s largest fresh and frozen beef exporters, developments in the Australian cattle industry can have significant effects on global market conditions. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has recently released its July update of its 2018 industry projections. Australia is once again experiencing persistent drought conditions in key cattle producing states, with some major concerns regarding fodder availability going forward.  As such,…