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.

Chinese mutton prices rise while imports also rise

China imports the most sheep meat in the world, over double what the US imports. During the first three quarters of 2017 Chinese sheep meat imports totalled 188 thousand tonnes, a 3% increase on the same period last year. Compared to the same period in 2015 sheep meat imports were 6% higher this year. However, this is still 17% less than the first three quarters…

MLA release latest update on Australian cattle outlook

Slaughter numbers remain at a similar level to last year in Australia however there are a record number of cattle on feedlots and carcase weights have risen, according to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). These factors combined have pushed production up in the year-to-date year-on-year. The Australian dollar has been appreciating over the last few months putting added pressure on the beef industry. Australian beef…

Beef exports lower and imports higher in September

The UK exported 9.6 thousand tonnes of fresh/frozen beef in September, 3% up year on year. The major destinations remained Ireland and the Netherlands, although exports to both fell slightly on the year in September by 4% and 11% respectively. Between them they account for over half of UK beef exports, although it is likely that some beef shipped to the Netherlands will be re-exported.…

Sheep prices follow seasonal trends

During the week ending 15 November the GB liveweight NSL SQQ fell by 1.6p week-on-week, to stand at 169.65p/kg. The quote does however still stand above year earlier levels, by 7.77p, and the five year average. Auction market throughputs rose on the previous week by 9%, to stand at 125.2 thousand head. This is 11% above the same week last year. This may not be…

Sheep meat and beef production levels increase

During October, production of both sheep meat and beef increased month-on-month, according to the latest data from Defra. Beef and veal production totalled 77.9 thousand tonnes in October. Production of sheep meat during October stood at 24.7 thousand tonnes, a 7% (1.6 thousand tonnes) increase month on month, according to the latest data from Defra. When compared to the same month last year however, production…

Is it possible for the UK to be self-sufficient in sheep meat?

Based on total production and demand, over the last 30 years, in only four (1993, 1994, 1995 and 2014) has the UK apparently been self-sufficient in sheep meat production. The latest AHDB forecast for the sheep market might suggest that the UK will become self-sufficient again in sheep meat production in 2018 and maintain this until 2020, the end of the forecast period. However, as…

Cattle prices rise slightly on higher demand

Cattle prices rose this week, amid increased activity from processors in the run up to Christmas, with estimated slaughterings 3% higher week on week at 32,500 head. The GB deadweight all prime average cattle price rose by 2.17p to 361.78p/kg. There were price increases across all the prime categories. Steers overall gained 1.7p to average 362.7p/kg, young bulls gained 4.4p to average 337.4p/kg and heifer…

Sheep meat exports recorded first year-on-year decline in 12 months

During September, for the first time in 12 months UK sheep meat exports recorded a fall compared to the same month last year, according to the latest data from HMRC. UK sheep meat exports in September totalled 8.1 thousand tonnes, a decline compared to the same month last year of 1% (0.09 tonnes). Despite these lower exports, the net trade balance (exports minus imports) was…

How much of existing TRQs might the UK receive post-Brexit?

Last month, the UK and EU announced a proposal on how to divide agricultural import quotas upon Brexit. A number of quotas exist that allow the import of beef or lamb products from third countries at reduced or zero tariff rates, which otherwise make most imports uncompetitive. The initial proposal suggests existing Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) would be split according to the average UK share…

Sheep prices continue to follow seasonal trend

During the week ending 8 November, the GB liveweight NSL SQQ rose by 4.74p on the week, to stand at 171.25p/kg which is the highest price since the week ending 6 September.  The measure now stands 4.82p above the same week last year. Auction market throughputs rose by 3% (3 thousand head) to total 115 thousand head, although this is 4% below the same week…

Producer share of retail price falls during October

The producer share of retail prices, for both beef and lamb, declined month-on-month during October. In October, share of retail prices received by sheep meat producers fell four percentage points to 45.8%, the lowest share since November 2015. The measure has now recorded four consecutive months of declines. Compared to the same month last year there is a two point difference. The average farmgate price…

Another week of stability for GB cattle prices

In the week ending 4 November the GB all prime average deadweight cattle price remained unchanged at 359.61p/kg. GB cattle prices have been in a relatively tight range for a couple of weeks now, suggesting that supply and demand are relatively well balanced at the moment. Although, with Christmas around the corner, at least for buying programmes, that could change in the coming weeks. Estimated…