Lamb leads rise in meat production

Beef, lamb and pig meat production has increased on last year, according to the latest slaughter figures from Defra.

The figures compare June 2013 with June 2014 and show clean sheep slaughterings - which refers to animals that have been bread purely for slaughter - at 907,000 head for the month, just over 8% higher than in June 2013, while mutton and lamb production was at 21,000 tonnes, 5% higher than in June 2013.

Clean pig slaughterings were 3.7% higher than last June at 772,000 head and pigmeat production was 6% higher at 64,000 tonnes.

Although prime cattle slaughterings were down 0.5% and 150,000 head this year, beef and veal production was almost 3% higher than June 2013 due to continuing heavy carcass weights, according to Defra.

Stephen Rossides, director of the British Meat Processors’ Association, commented on the cattle figures: “Overall [there was] lower beef production in June. But I think for a fuller picture of the market, a longer time frame needs to be taken, as well as trends in imports, exports, retail demand and weather factors.”

Defra said the report is subject to revision in August when they will publish the updated figures.

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