Meat outlook provides mixed fortunes
Data collection body Mintec has revealed varying meat outcomes in its latest meat index, revealed on Friday 15 April 2016.
UK beef prices have dropped, due to low domestic demand and falling prices within the European Union. Beef production this year has also fallen in the UK, as a lower number of cattle have been sent for slaughter since January.
However, beef exports have reportedly risen by 29% year-on-year in January. This was due to the weaker sterling against the euro and higher trade with Ireland. Despite this, the rise in international demand counterbalanced with the decrease in production levels has not offset the slowdown in domestic demand, resulting in falling prices.
Due to strong demand over the Easter period, coupled with a decrease in availability as stocks have been put into Private Storage Aid (PSA), pork prices have been relatively stable.
The PSA is a scheme which gives producers the luxury of storing pork with the intention of stabilising the market and limiting sharp pricing changes.
Pork production within the UK remained strong, rising by 4% year-on-year in February, with strong demand for UK pork over the Easter period due to lower prices, mainly from Germany.
Lamb prices at the start of April remained high as a result of low slaughter levels and solid Easter demand. Lamb production was down by 8% in February year-on-year at 844,700 tonnes (t), due to a smaller lamb herd size.
Lamb production typically remains low in the aftermath of Easter, until new-born lambs reach slaughter weight in the summer.
UK chicken prices have also seen a rise due to strong demand. This is despite an increase in production. At 76 million, broiler placings were up 2% year-on-year in February. During the same month, UK poultry meat production rose 4% year-on-year to 132,800t. However, rising domestic demand, especially for chicken breast, has resulted in chicken breast prices remaining high.
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