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.

High global sheep meat prices slip, despite sharp increase in shipments to China

Farmgate prices in both Australia and New Zealand have come under pressure in recent weeks after reaching record breaking heights. Throughout 2018, there has also been an increase in sheep meat shipments destined for China. The Australian Eastern States lamb indicator has fallen by over $1.70 since peaking four weeks ago, to stand at 682 AUS cents/kg (approximately 375p/kg) in the week ended 4 October,…

Deadweight prices hold firm, while auction markets decline

Prices for both store and finished lambs have declined in the latest week. The average England and Wales store lamb price dropped £1.21, to £53.19/head, in the week ended 29 September. Compared to year earlier levels the price currently stand £1 higher. Similarly, the GB liveweight NSL SQQ slipped 5.93p in the week ending 3 October, to stand at 165.04p/kg. This quote has now once…

How low were lamb prices in quarter three?

Quarter three in the sheep sector is usually a time for slaughtering to start picking up and prices to slip. The same pattern has been recorded this year, although as prices were so high in the spring the decline may have felt harder than usual. Some farmers have commented that farmgate prices are currently low, but compared to average levels for the time of year,…

NZ usage of EU sheep meat quota likely to be up year-on-year

Under EU rules certain countries can send sheep meat at a zero or reduced import tariff under a negotiated quota, while others must continue to pay to enter the market. In total, 285,260 tonnes cwe of sheep meat can be sent in under quotas. Of these, New Zealand has the highest allocation, at 228,254 tonnes cwe. According to the latest data from the European Commission,…

Store cattle prices stall

Through the early part of the year store cattle prices largely tracked in-line with year earlier levels. Once the drought conditions began prices slipped and then recorded some recovery, click here to read the previous update. Four weeks on have prices continued to recover?   As shown in the charts, any recovery has largely stalled in recent week, perhaps due to concerns over winter keep…

BPS exchange rate remains much the same

The exchange rate for the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) has now been set, and is the average of the daily European Central Bank exchange rate during September. In the last 12 months there has been little fluctuation in the exchange rate between the euro and the pound. As a result the average exchange rate for September remained relatively similar to the previous year. The…

Cattle prices pick up

Deadweight cattle prices went against seasonal trends this week and picked up slightly after a steady week last week. In the week ending 29 September, the GB all prime average rose by almost 0.9p to average 370.33p/kg. The price has now marginally surpassed year earlier levels and continues to rise against the five year average too, and is now over 7p higher. The trend at…

New Zealand beef and lamb outlook published

The new season outlook for New Zealand beef and lamb production forecasts no change in lamb exports in the 2018/19 season, remaining above $3 billion for the second season, while beef exports are set to decline. Sheep numbers at 30 June amounted to 27.3 million head; down just under 1% year-on-year. Figures were a result of fewer breeding ewes in all regions driven by strong…

Mixed bag for sheep prices this week

Store lamb prices at auction markets in England and Wales typically record gentle downwards movement at this time of year. This year has been no exception, although prices did receive a small amount of support this week. During the week ending 22 September, the price averaged at £54.40/head, up £0.41 week-on-week. GB finished liveweight trade remained stable during the week ending 26 September, with the…

New Zealand beef exports highest on record in July

New Zealand exports of fresh/frozen beef for the month of July are the highest on record, dating back to 1990. Exports for the month totalled 43,000 tonnes, a 22% increase (+7,700 tonnes) compared to 2017. The increases are being supported by significant increases into Asian markets as demand continues to increase in these areas. Exports to China in particular have recorded strong growth in July…

Cattle numbers in Ireland stable overall

According to data from CSO Ireland, provisional results from the Ireland June survey indicate little year-on-year change in the total number of cattle, totalling 7.35 million head as at 1 June. Within this, the dairy cows grew by 3.4% compared to June last year, reaching almost 1.5 million head. This reflects the relative profitability of dairying in Ireland, which has one of the few expanding…

Feed market update – September 2018

While the start of the month saw speculation over Russian export curbs supporting prices, this faded as the month drew on. Despite downward revisions to Australian wheat production mid-month, news of a record US maize yield forecast pushed prices lower. However, by the end of the month, concern over frost damage to Australian crops and the potential for lower Russian exports did lend some support…