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.

Strike sinks Brazilian beef exports to 7-year low

Brazilian beef exports for the month of June were reported at 54,000 tonnes, which is a 45% decline compared to year earlier levels and the lowest export pace since January 2011. The main driver of the rapid decline was a nationwide trucking strike over fuel prices, which have doubled over the past year. The strike lasted 11 days during late May and brought the nation…

New Zealand sheep meat exports remain steady on year earlier levels

During the first six months of 2018 New Zealand fresh/frozen sheep meat exports totalled 249,800 tonnes, similar to the same period last year, according to Statistics New Zealand. The largest market for New Zealand exports is China, with shipments totalling 107,200 tonnes, up 13% year-on-year. Despite a sharp increase on-the-year in May, exports to the UK in the year-to-date are 4% below even last year’s…

Feed market update – July 2018

Weather continues to be the driving force in grain and oilseed markets this month, both internationally and domestically.  In light of current conditions, the AHDB has launched a drought hub to give guidance on how to mitigate the risks of heat stress and drought. Click here for more information… Grains           EU-28 average wheat yields have been forecast 2.4% below the five-year average, at 5.59t/ha according…

GB liveweight lamb prices show some recovery

Following six consecutive weeks of falling prices, the GB liveweight SQQ gained some ground in the week ending 25 July. The quote stands at 185.68p/kg, a 3.49p increase week-on-week which puts the quote above the five-year average once again. The measure is however still 5.98p/kg below year earlier levels. Auction market throughputs recovered on the week, increasing by 30% to 101,700 head. This is 12%…

Drought drives cattle into feedlots

According to the USDA July cattle inventory, the number of cattle on feedlots totalled 13.3 million head, a 4% (0.5 million) increase compared to year earlier levels. This is the highest 1 July inventory since the measure began in 1996. This is not surprising as large parts of the US plains have been experiencing severe drought conditions since the start of February, resulting in poor…

Calf registrations in overall decline

Calf registration data from the British Cattle Movement Service is now available for April 2018. Just over 1,000,000 calves were registered in the first four months of 2018, a slight decline of 10,000 head, or 1% compared with the previous year. Despite being down slightly, the make-up of registrations has changed again somewhat. During the first four months of 2017, dairy female registrations were down…

Heatwave has icy effect on store market

May and June 2018 have been the hottest on record, as well as being among the driest on record, leading to low levels of grass growth. Winter this year was also long which meant that forage supplies were already low coming into the summer. The long winter also meant that grass growth was slow to get started. Reports have suggested that while the 1st cut…

Cattle trade cooling, unlike the weather

During the week ended 21 July, the GB all-prime cattle average price dropped 5.5p on the week to stand at 361.8p/kg. Similar price falls were recorded across the board, with R4L specification steers and heifers averaging 376.9p/kg and 376.3p/kg respectively, both having recorded price drops of around 5p. R4L young bulls recorded a particularly sharp decline of almost 9p, to average 354.1p/kg. On the back…

The run up to Eid – 2018

The festival of Eid-al-Adha will begin on approximately 21 August this year, and run until 25 August, although the exact dates are not known as it is based upon sightings of the moon. Processors typically source animals two or three weeks before the festival, and the timing this year means that the sheep required will need have to have been born before 21 February. The…

Record breaking sheep prices down under, where can they go next?

Throughout the last 12 months global lamb prices haven not followed the trend one would expect based upon historic seasonality. While Australian prices did record a slight seasonal decline at the start of the calendar year they continued to be high on historic terms. Farmgate prices in Australia returned to an upwards trend in the middle of April and have since been consistently moving up…

Both UK beef imports and exports rise

UK fresh/frozen beef imports are up by 6,300 tonnes (+6%) in the year to May, to total 112,800 tonnes. Within this, shipments during May alone are 4% higher year-on-year. The majority of this increase has come from Ireland, with these deliveries rising by 5,000 tonnes in the year to date (+7%) to total 80,400 tonnes. This accounts for over 70% of total imports in the…

EU beef trade balance falls into the negative

As a consequence of high cattle prices throughout 2017 and into early 2018, European beef has been struggling to remain competitive, and so exports have dipped. This, coupled with higher imports for the year to April, has resulted in the EU trade balance for the period falling into the negative. The EU average R3 young bull price followed an upward trend from May to December…