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Bethan Wilkins

Analyst

AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Beef and sheep meat production forecast higher

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2016 \ May \ Beef and sheep meat production forecast higher

Following publication of latest AHDB forecasts for pig meat supplies last week, updated forecasts for beef and sheep meat have also been released.

Both show that production is expected to rise this year. Slight improvements in the balance of trade will reduce supplies available for consumption but they will still be higher than last year. This could provide some extra competition for pork among domestic consumers, with the potential to create modest downward pressure on prices.

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The latest forecasts for beef and veal supplies suggest that production in the UK will be higher this year. This is due to a combination of higher prime cattle slaughterings, following increased calf registrations in 2014 and 2015, and an increase in cull cows. The latter is largely due to the difficulties which the dairy sector is currently experiencing. However, the increase in slaughterings may be partly offset by lower carcase weights as processors change specifications, including reducing the maximum weight which will not attract a price penalty. This is reported to be a response to consumer demand for smaller cuts as budgets remain constrained.

The latest forecasts for sheep meat predict slightly less lamb will be produced this year but that will be more than offset by higher mutton production. A smaller carryover of lambs from last year’s crop, more lambs to be used as replacements in the breeding flock and a more normal seasonal marketing pattern are expected to contribute to lower lamb slaughterings. However, adult sheep slaughterings are forecast to increase as the low levels seen in the past two years have led to an ageing breeding flock.

To read about the beef and lamb supply forecasts in more detail, click here.

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Stephen Howarth, Market Specialist Manager
Stephen.howarth@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8856