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.

Results of industry-wide consultation on GB prime lamb reporting

AHDB, together with HCC and QMS, undertook an industry-wide consultation to gather opinions on whether the Standard Quality Quotation (SQQ) weight bands used in the reporting of lambs should be adjusted. This followed recommendations highlighted in a call for views carried out earlier in 2017. The consultation closed on 31st December 2017 and the results and next steps are summarised here.

Spring edition of EU short-term outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets published

The European Commission has published its latest EU short-term outlook covering 2018 and 2019. During 2017, prices of crude oil and natural gas increased significantly; oil prices are now as high as they’ve been since the price crash in 2014. Prices of fertiliser during quarters three and four of 2017 increased in line with the price of natural gas especially for nitrogen-based fertiliser. The FAO…

Lamb price rally continues

In the week ended 4 April, the GB liveweight OSL SQQ increased by 7.68p week-on-week, to 240.07p/kg. The quote now stands 61.77p above year earlier levels. While there are still lambs on farm, reports suggest that imports are lower year-on-year which is tightening supplies on the domestic market and supporting the price. Daily prices have gained strength through the week starting the week at 227.13p/kg,…

New Zealand beef production ahead of year earlier levels

In 2017, New Zealand was the world’s fifth largest exporter of beef, which equates to around three quarters of its domestic production. So far New Zealand’s production year, which starts in October and ends in September, beef production stands at 276,400 tonnes, 6% (15,200 tonnes) more than during the same period last year. In the first two months of 2018, New Zealand has exported 76,500…

Australian sheep meat production starts strongly in 2018

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheep meat, and while EU quotas may limit the amount coming into the UK/EU, Australia has a large bearing on the global market which affects the UK. Australia suffered from a drought in recent years, putting downwards pressure on the national flock size. According to the MLA, Australia is now starting to re-build its national flock. Australian production…

Prime cattle prices spring up

In the week ended 31 March, the GB all prime average cattle price gained almost 3p week-on-week, to 360.65p/kg. Currently the measure stands around 16.5p above year earlier levels and almost 10p above the five year average for this time of year. The overall steer price gained 2.4p week-on-week, to 361p/kg while those carcases meeting the R4L specification gained 1.7p during the same period, to…

Initial indications for lamb imports at Easter

It’s only a few days into April, and not only is quarter one of the year over but this year Easter has already been and gone. Obviously, Easter is a key time for the sheep meat sector with imports usually peaking in quantity before beginning to fall away after the holiday; production within the EU starts to pick up too as the new season lambs…

Japanese emergency tariff on frozen beef, fails to freeze out the US

Not only is the US the world’s largest importer of beef, it is also the world’s fourth largest exporter. US production of beef during the first two months of 2018, totalled 1.9 million tonnes, 5% higher than the same period of last year, according to data from the USDA. US production has been rising since 2016, totalling 11.9 million tonnes in 2017. As production in…

Highest deadweight hogget price ever

During the week ending 28 March, the GB liveweight OSL SQQ which has been rallying since the start of the year paused, with a week-on-week decline of 2.09p, standing at 232.39p/kg. The quote currently stands almost 45p above year earlier levels. Auction market throughputs rose by 8% (10,600 head) week-on-week, to 136,100 head. Throughputs of cull ewes increased by 21% (6,700 head), to 39,400 head.…

New Zealand gaining competitive edge over British lamb

Lamb prices in New Zealand have continued to trend at a higher level year-on-year through March. In the week ending 24 March, the New Zealand North Island lamb price was recorded at 710 NZ cents per kg. Currently the price is just under 180 cents above year earlier levels and almost 215 cents above the five year average for this time of year. Despite this,…

EU sheep population marginally up

Most countries within the European Union have now reported in the results from the December census, including all of the major sheep meat producing countries. The results recorded 86,263,000 head of sheep in the EU at December 2017, 1% (577,300 head) up on year earlier levels, according to data from the European Commission. The results also record that just under 30% of all sheep in…

Poultry market update

Poultry meat production in the UK increased by 1% (13,600 tonnes) year-on-year in 2017, to 1.8 million tonnes, according to Defra data. Production from boiler chickens accounts for around 85% of all poultry meat produced in the UK, totalling 1.6 million tonnes in 2017, up 2% (35,800 tonnes) year-on-year. The total number of broiler chickens slaughtered rose by 4% (44.3 million birds) during the same…