Sheepmeat grows 21% over 12 weeks

Sheepmeat sold by UK retailers grew 21% in the 12-week period ending mid-May, due to consumers buying more sheepmeat because of the 9.5% fall in the average retail price.

The figures presented by Kantar Worldpanel indicate a positive future in terms of volume, but prices for lambs are experiencing a seasonal decline.

Head of economic services for Quality Meat Scotland Stuart Ashworth said: “Although the producer price for lamb has risen since May and currently stands about 10% ahead of last year, this is less than the 15% increase in the producer price for prime cattle and 12% increase for pigs.”

Ashworth said lamb should still be offered at competitive prices by the retailer, compared to beef and pork.

In the UK and Europe, the past month has seen prices drop around 4%. Ashworth commented on the figures and said: “Importantly, however, prices remain above last year’s levels by an average of 4% across Europe, while in sterling terms UK prices are over 10% higher than last year.”

January through April this year saw British abattoirs handling 363,000 more hoggs than last year, which means that although new-season lambs have arrived late on the market, there has still been a good supply.

“However, despite the hogg carry-over into May increasing supplies from that source by more than 50%, provisional slaughter data for May suggests that lamb and hogg supply fell by around 5% when compared to last year because of the lack of new season lambs,” added Ashworth.

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