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 New Zealand exports driven by earlier slaughtering and large stocks

Sheep meat exports from New Zealand during November 2015 reached their highest level for the month since 2000. Overall volumes shipped in the month were up nearly a quarter on the previous year at 27,400 tonnes – the highest level for November in 15 years. Volumes to China were up by 19 per cent at 10,200 tonnes, while shipments to the UK were up by…

Both live and deadweight markets strengthen following Christmas

The liveweight lamb trade has been strengthening over the Christmas period and in the week ended 6 January reached its highest level since June 2015. The SQQ at GB auction markets reached 171.5p/kg – up 7p on the previous week. This reduces the difference compared to the same week in 2015 to 16p, the smallest difference since October. The largest increase was seen on Monday…

Polish beef exports increasing sharply, including to the UK

Polish exports in the first nine months of 2015 were up 23 per cent on the year. While trade has been consistently robust, the annual rate of growth accelerated to 34 per cent by the third quarter. Of Poland’s major markets, shipments to the United Kingdom have showed the sharpest growth. Up 75 per cent in the first nine months of 2015, volumes amounted to…

Differing trends in share of retail price received by producers in December

The share of the retail lamb price received by producers increased in December as farmgate prices moved up against falling retail prices. During the month the measure increased by three percentage points to reach 46 per cent, its highest level since June. However, this remains eight percentage points below the same month in 2014. The retail price fell by one per cent, while the farmgate…

Stability over the holidays for the cattle trade

With a fluctuating degree of activity over the past couple of weeks, it is difficult to ascertain a realistic picture of trade. However, reports do suggest that processors have been fairly active in the market, securing enough cattle to replace stock depleted over the Christmas holiday period. Consequently, the expectations that the pressure seen in the market on the run in to Christmas would continue…

Small decline in German cattle herd

The November 2015 survey indicated a small decline in total cattle numbers in Germany after two years of increase. The reduction, of almost one per cent, was expected. It followed a two per cent increase in the 2012 to 2014 period, which mainly reflected developments in the cow herd. Total cow numbers increased by three per cent between 2012 and 2014 before stabilising in November…

Liveweight trade strengthens

As the latest week’s worth of data is not in we are unable to provide our normal weekly liveweight price. However, the data that has so far been gathered from GB auction markets show that the liveweight lamb trade has been strengthening in the past week. The GB SQQ reached 164.8p/kg on Tuesday 22 December, up 11p on the previous week, with similar gains seen…

Cattle trade weakens further

With the Christmas procurement period well and truly over, GB prime cattle prices continued to weaken in the week ended 19 December. At 333.6p/kg, the all prime average deadweight price was 4p down on the week and 10p lower than four weeks ago, when the latest downward movement began. With prices more stable last year, the latest figure is over 20p lower than in the…

Convenience is key for beef and lamb evening meals

With ever increasing pressure on time, as a nation we are spending less and less time in the kitchen preparing and cooking an evening meal. According to Kantar Worldpanel, this has fallen from 60 minutes in 1980 to just 31 minutes in 2015. This has led to ever greater demand for convenient meals. With two of the most popular beef and lamb dishes, roasts and…

Census data suggests lamb crop falls in 2015

The final results of the UK June agricultural census show a one per cent fall in the size of the total UK sheep flock. One of the largest changes from the provisional figures released in October is a larger decline in the number of lambs under one year on farms. The final figures show a two per cent fall at 16.53 million head. This suggests…

Higher sheep meat imports and stable production in Middle East and North Africa

It is estimated that over a quarter of the world’s total trade in sheep and sheep meat takes place with countries in the Middle East and North African region (MENA). This makes it a particularly important region to understand when it comes to global sheep meat supply, demand and trade. Despite the MENA region being responsible for such a large proportion of global trade, it…

Final results indicate that the UK cattle herd growth is larger

Final figures for the UK cattle herd as at June 2015 now show a bigger increase in total cattle numbers, compared with a year earlier. Previously published provisional figures only took account of trends in England and Northern Ireland, following a delay in the publication of Scottish results and the later availability of the Welsh figures. The breeding herd, which accounts for over a third…