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.

Argentina exports strengthened in the third quarter of 2014

In the July to September period of last year Argentina exported significantly more beef onto the global market than it did in the corresponding period a year earlier. At 41,400 tonnes volumes were up 14 per cent on the year. While this amounted to the second consecutive quarterly increase and was the highest Q3 figure since 2010, it is still far below the 100,000 tonnes…

German cattle herd again higher

The November 2014 cattle survey indicated a further rise in total cattle numbers in Germany, led by developments in the milk sector. Dairy cow numbers were up one per cent, compared with November 2013 to 4.3 million head, although this was a slower growth than the two per cent recorded in November 2013. Germany has the largest dairy cow herd in the EU, accounting for…

UK breeding flock over 16 million head

Revisions to the final Defra livestock population statistics for June indicate a more positive position for the UK breeding sheep flock than previously reported. The total number of sheep and lambs in the UK in June 2014 was revised upwards to 33.7 million head. Representing a near three per cent increase on the year earlier, this is largely on the back of a much larger…

Final UK cattle herd statistics confirm tighter supplies in 2015

Revisions to the final Defra livestock population statistics for June do not materially alter the previously recorded trends in the UK cattle herd. The total number of cattle and calves in the UK in June 2014 was still almost unchanged on the year at just over 9.8 million. While the final results, which take account of this year‘s Welsh figures, revise the growth in the…

Polish beef exports edging down

Polish beef exports have shown a surprising two per cent fall in the first nine months of 2014 despite a sharp increase in domestic production. Export demand has clearly fallen as the average export price was also down, by five per cent in euro terms, on a year earlier. Shipments to other EU markets were down by five per cent and data for importing countries…

Irish beef exports up on the year

In the year to October exports of fresh and frozen beef from Ireland were up 15 per cent on the year at 282,000 tonnes. As forecast by Bord Bia and anticipated by EBLEX, cattle throughputs in Ireland have been significantly ahead of year earlier levels this year. At 1.5 million head, slaughterings in the year to October are up 11 per cent, or 140,000 head,…

Steady markets for EU sheep and beef in the coming decade

With overall EU meat production expected to increase to 44.9 million tonnes in 2024, the latest EU Prospects report indicated that poultry will maintain and expand its position as the dominant meat sector in both production and consumption. Other meat sectors are anticipated to see some downward trends in consumption across the EU which, coupled with stabilising production, could give rise to increasing export volumes.…

New Zealand lamb slaughter only marginally down in 2014/15

There have been only minor adjustments to the forecast decline for lamb slaughterings in the current season in New Zealand. According to Beef and Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ), slow start to the season from October to December 2014 is expected to be followed by a high level of slaughterings in the first quarter of 2015. This is based on two reports published by BLNZ in…

Problems on the EU beef offal and fats market

The beef offal and fats market in the EU has been disrupted since mid-August by the Russian ban imposed on product from the EU. Russia had accounted for one third of EU trade so far this year, having more than doubled in comparison with the first eight months of 2013. This market disruption was discussed at the EU Commission‘s beef and veal forecast working group…

Welsh sheep numbers grow

The sheep flock in Wales increased two per cent on the year to 9.74 million head, according to the Welsh Government − the fifth consecutive year of growth in June. Overall numbers have risen steadily over the past few years which initially was attributed to an increase in the number of lambs on the ground. The latest results, however, point to a significant uplift in…

Components of Welsh cattle breeding herd move in opposite directions

The total number of cattle and calves in Wales in June 2014 was a fraction up on the year at just over 1.1 million, according to the Welsh Government. Its latest estimates for livestock populations revealed that while the breeding herd modestly grew overall, as in England, the component parts moved in opposite directions. The Welsh dairy herd was up six per cent at 290,000…

Mixed picture on farm input prices

Latest Defra figures, comparing the year to September 2014 with the preceding 12 months, have painted a mixed picture on farm input prices. The majority of variable and some overhead costs − such as straight and compound feeds, bedding, fertiliser, insecticides, fuel, − have fallen, while some costs - such as vet services, electricity, herbicides, building costs and maintenance − have risen on average. Machinery…