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.

Scottish lamb crop falls in 2015

The results of the June livestock census in Scotland indicate that the total number of sheep remained stable, although the number of lambs fell by one per cent. The number of lambs on farms on 1 June was at 3.2 million head. This suggests a fall in the size of the 2015 lamb crop, despite previous forecasts of an increase, following a larger breeding flock…

Cattle trade steadies

In week ended 31 October the pressure on cattle prices was again a little softer. At 342.8p/kg the GB all prime average was back under a penny on the week earlier. AHDB estimates suggest that overall the number of cattle coming forward was just up on the week earlier, possibly playing a part in stabilising the supply/demand balance. However, as expected throughputs are still trending…

Marginal growth recorded in Scottish cattle herd this year

In June the total number of cattle on Scottish holdings increased by almost one per cent to 1.8 million head according to the recent survey results released by the Scottish Government. While this is the first uplift since 2010, it was entirely limited to expansion in the dairy sector. However, the recent decline in the much larger suckler herd, which is a key component of…

Strong demand for New Zealand beef in the year so far

Strong demand for beef, particularly in the US, a weaker NZ dollar against the US dollar and high production has resulted in an increase in beef and veal exports in the year to September. At just over 350,000 tonnes in the nine month period shipments are up 10 per cent on the year earlier. Exports to the US increased 16 per cent and as such…

Forecasts point to tighter global sheep meat supplies in 2016

Based on current forecasts, supplies from the two major southern hemisphere sheep meat exporters are likely to decline in 2016, following falls to the size of their flocks over the past year. This will lead to smaller volumes available for export, providing an opportunity to UK exporters. However, demand from some of their major markets is also likely to be subdued in the next year…

Higher EU sheep meat production

Following an expected rise in EU sheep and goat meat production in 2015, output levels are expected to remain at similar levels in 2016. In 2015 production has increased for the first time since 2011, increasing by 3 per cent. This is almost entirely the result of the increase in the UK and to a lesser extent Italy. The forecasts are partly based on the…

Continued stability in the liveweight trade

The liveweight lamb trade continues to show stability, with little movement seen in prices over the last week. In the week ended 28 October the GB SQQ increased by less than a penny on the previous week to 143.3p/kg. This leaves prices 16p per kilo below the levels seen in the same week of 2014, following increases seen this time last year. Prices were stable…

Cattle trade holds steady

In week ended 24 October the pressure on cattle prices softened, compared to the previous couple of weeks, on the back of an improved balance in the trade. At 343.6p/kg the GB all prime average was back just a penny on the week earlier. AHDB estimates suggest that overall the number of cattle coming forward was just down on the week earlier, but as expected…

Is the oil crisis taming the beef trade?

Some significant changes in the world economy have coincided with the first anniversary of oil prices tumbling down from $110 to almost $50 per barrel. Lower oil prices are recognised as generally being a support to consumers, gaining increased spending power from lower fuel costs. They are also seen as a support to manufacturing for export-driven economies such as China, which can only be good,…

Chinese sheep meat imports continue to decline

Chinese sheep meat imports in the first nine months of 2015 have fallen 22 per cent, following the trend that began in the second half of 2014. Large supplies of sheep meat in China have led to falling import demand, with total volumes in the first nine months of the year at 177,400 tonnes, down 22 per cent year on year. Imports of sheep meat…

USDA forecasts growth in beef and veal sector for 2016

The latest forecast from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that global beef and veal production is set to increase modestly next year. Continued herd expansion will drive production higher for the major players, particularly the US, India and Brazil. Global production levels in 2016 are estimated at 59.2 million tonnes, up one per cent on the year earlier. The USDA forecasts that…

Brazilian beef arrives in China

Chinese imports of beef in the nine months to September stood at over 320,000 tonnes – up over a third, compared to the same period in 2014. While Australia continues to be the largest supplier of beef to China, its share of the market has fallen in recent years, from a near half in 2013 to just 36 per cent this year so far. As…