Lamb supplies expected to grow

UK lamb and mutton production in 2015 is expected to be up 7% on last year, according to AHDB Beef & Lamb figures.

A large carryover from the 2014 crop led to increased slaughterings in the first half of this year and, with another strong lamb crop, production is expected to be at its highest level for seven years.

Mark Kozlowski, AHDB MI market analyst said: “With supply up, the industry is hoping for favourable changes in retail sourcing and pricing, coupled with continued strategic promotional campaigns linked to product development to draw consumers to lamb over the coming months. If demand isn’t realised, prices may continue to be under pressure.”

The UK breeding flock is now at 14.8 million head. There were year-on-year increases in all regions, with the Scottish flock showing the biggest rise of 5%, according to December 2014 data.  

Near-perfect seasonal conditions for the lambing season should mean that the 2015 lamb crop will be around 18.1 million head, over 500,000 (3%) more than in 2014.

With lamb and adult sheep slaughterings up, the total annual sheep meat production for 2015 is expected to be about 316,000 tonnes. Tentative forecasts for 2016 show a small increase in production, mainly due to the larger carryover of lambs.

Chart provided by AHDB Beef & Lamb

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