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.

Feed market update – April 2018

US wheat futures rose at the start of April over concerns of the continued severe weather in the country. Snow coverage in key spring wheat growing states of North/ South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota caused worries over potential delays in spring planting. Chicago wheat futures (May-18) reached a high of $180.76/t on 10 April, increasing by $15.80/t since 27 March. However, prices sharply dropped off…

April 2018 outlook for cattle published

The latest AHDB outlook of the UK beef market covering 2018 until 2020 is now available. Total supplies in 2018 are forecast to be marginally higher than last year with the increase driven by a slightly higher number of prime animals on the ground at the beginning of the year. Click here to read the full outlook.

April 2018 outlook for sheep published

AHDB has published its latest outlook for the UK sheep meat sector. The outlook covers the expected number of Old Season Lambs to be slaughtered between January and May 2018, and goes out until 2020. Despite the good conditions at tupping last autumn and average scanning rate, the lamb crop in 2018 is forecast to decline by 6% (1.1 million head) year-on-year, due to poor…

Liveweight lamb prices soften slightly while deadweight breaks the £6 mark

In the week ended 18 April, the GB liveweight OSL SQQ fell 37.53p on-the-week, to 234.25p/kg. In the prior week there was a sharp rise and therefore this decline brings the measure back to roughly where is stood three weeks ago. Compared to the same week last year, this price is 48.32p higher. The GB liveweight NSL SQQ also declined during the week (-28.28p), to…

UK beef exports continue to grow

UK exports of fresh/frozen beef in February increased in both volume (+7%) and value (+8%) compared with a year earlier, reaching nearly 9,000 tonnes product weight, according to trade data from HMRC. This brings exports in the year to February to 18,600 tonnes. Exports grew to Ireland, the Netherlands, and France. Shipments to Germany so far have also more than doubled since last year, albeit…

Steer prices gain slightly

In the week ended 14 April, the GB all prime average cattle price gained 1.37p on-the-week, to 361.58p/kg. Currently the measure stands around 15p above year earlier levels. Reports have suggested that with the wet ground conditions, some producers are keen to send cattle forwards especially with high straw prices continuing, although on the whole most large finishers appear to have enough fodder. Turnout will…

Horizon report – International Consumer Buying Behaviour

The latest AHDB Horizon report – International Consumer Buying Behaviour focuses on consumer attitudes in different countries around the world, and highlights the need for the industry to monitor and adapt to international customer needs if exports to these markets are to grow. The report highlights that as a country, we cannot rely upon ‘Brand Britain’ alone to boost sales to export markets and that…

What has been driving lamb prices in quarter one of 2018?

There is no denying that sheep prices have been soaring upwards recently. In the week ended 14 April, the GB deadweight OSL SQQ stood at 601.9p/kg, the highest the deadweight hogget price has ever been and the first time the measure has moved above the £6/kg mark. The liveweight OSL SQQ is also well above typical historic levels for this time of year. But what…

UK sheep meat exports rise on the back of strong production

In the year-to-date, UK reported exports stand at 13,800 tonnes, a 16% (1,900 tonnes) rise on the same period last year, according to the latest data from HMRC.  While, UK imports have declined year-on-year, to 12,000 tonnes in the same period. In February, UK reports fresh/frozen sheep meat exports performed strongly increasing by 14% (800 tonnes) year-on-year, to 6,500 tonnes. UK exports to France increased…

The importance of Asian beef markets

Overall, global trade in beef has recorded significant year on year growth over the last 5 years. In 2017 8.3 million tonnes of beef were traded worldwide, a 19% increase compared to 2012.  Over this period, the southern and eastern parts of Asia have become increasingly important destination markets for the world’s beef production, the rise of affluent populations in these regions supporting beef consumption.…

Cull ewe prices gaining strength

Since the start of the year, finished liveweight old season lamb prices have been rising rapidly and have now nearly reached historically high levels. Cull ewe prices typically follow a similar pattern to finished lamb, and have rallied alongside them. In the week ended 14 April, GB liveweight cull ewe prices averaged £82.93 per head, having gained over £20 per head since the start of…

EU cow prices rise, while young bull prices fall

In the week ended 8 April, the EU average price for young bulls meeting the R3 specification declined €2.29 on the previous four weeks, to €388.09 per 100kg, according to data from the European Commission. This follows a strong increase in production during January, although the price still stood €17.14 above year earlier levels. The UK price, which can be volatile due to the UK…