• Image 2
  • Image 8
  • Image 12
  • Image 11
  • Image 30
  • Image 28
  • Image 10
  • Image 27
  • Image 13
  • Image 14
  • Image 2
  • Image 8
  • Image 12
  • Image 11
  • Image 30
  • Image 28
  • Image 10
  • Image 27
  • Image 13
  • Image 14
  

UK Beef

Cattle trade levels
Cattle trade stabilises amid reports suggesting that the market for both commercial and cattle fitting specific supermarket schemes was finely balanced. Despite numbers seemingly increasing on the week, the all prime deadweight average levelled at 349.4p/kg.  This broad stability continues to reflect a more positive trading environment in which the all prime average has strengthened by more than 20p/kg since the start of August. With throughputs over the period up around 15,000 head, this price rise has evidently come as demand has improved. This means the supply and demand balance has consistently been in producers’ favour, with processors looking to secure adequate supplies of cattle. The situation could be maintained as the peak seasonal buying period approaches.
 
UK Beef & Veal
 
Beef and veal exports perform well again
Beef and veal exports increased 7% on the year to 8,500 tonnes. While higher shipments to the Netherlands and Ireland largely drove this increase, there was a spectacular increase in exports to Hong Kong. Despite this uplift in volume, the value returned to the industry was still lower compared with July last year, down 3% at £29.8 million; the unit price was back 9% on the year at £3,500/tonne.
 
Global Snapshot
·         Uruguay; Average export prices increases top 2011
·         Brazil; September see’s beef exports fall
·         Argentina; See’s lower prices for finished cattle
·         Paraguay; Beef exports up 15% year to date
·         Russia’s; Now threatens to stop imports via Belarus due to EU re-route of exports
·         Europe; Markets remain stable despite Russian embargo
·         China; Displaces Russia as key market for Uruguayan beef
·         Oceania; NZ Lamb production hits seasonal low
 
UK Lamb
 
Prices continue to ease
Lamb prices have continued to ease throughout September, largely as part of the expected seasonal trend for this time of year. This comes as supplies are plentiful and demand remains subdued. This was reflected in the GB NSL SQQ, which fell by 15p since the end of August to 149.7p/kg in week ended 27th September. The largest drop was seen in the first week of the month, week ending 5 September, when the SQQ fell 10p on the week to 154.5p/kg. Following this drop, the week on week declines were less severe with some stabilisation apparent at times.
On the back of more favourable weather conditions, lamb carcases were 2% higher in September, compared with the same month in 2013 at 19.2kg. Adult carcases were also heavier, albeit only by 1%, at 25.8kg. Overall sheep meat production was up 1% on the year at 25,400 tonnes, as the reduced adult sheep kill offset the higher carcase weights and more lambs were being slaughtered. Production in the year to date is now up 3%, or 6,000 tonnes, on the year. 
 
Imported Lamb
 
UK imports see little change
Imports were almost unchanged on the year. At 7,500 tonnes, total import volumes were largely static, being up only 0.3% compared with 2013. However, volumes were very low in 2012 and shipments remain well below historic levels. Bucking the trend that has been evident so far this year, New Zealand shipments were 7% higher year on year. Australia continued to send more product, with shipments 1% higher on the year, meaning that in the year to date, Australia has shipped 34% more product than they did in same period last year. These higher shipments were offset by lower volumes from Ireland, the Netherlands and the Falkland islands. Despite UK imports from New Zealand being higher on the year (although volumes were unchanged overall) this looks like a blip and the volume of New Zealand product on the UK market should still be lower on the year. August shipments from New Zealand to the UK were reportedly down 5% on the year. Given the shipping times from New Zealand, these lower volumes should have started to enter the UK market from early September onwards. As such, current volumes of New Zealand product should be at a low ebb, both seasonally and compared with recent years. Additionally, the average value of these exports is considerably higher than they were a year ago, being 14% more expensive.
 
Price forecasts from Brussels indicate a 3% recovery in the EU heavy lamb price for 2014 as a whole after the small fall in 2013. In January-August this year the price was 4% higher, even though in August it was down 3%, given the lower prices in the UK and Ireland. One factor that is affecting lamb prices this year is the low value of sheep skins on the global market, in response to reduced demand from key importers such as China. In early September, lamb skin prices in Australia were down two thirds compared with a year earlier.
 
Pork
 
UK pig prices
The EU-spec GB SPP fell to 152.35p per kg for the week ended 18 October, down by almost 2p for the second week in a row. Please note that one plant is missing from the SPP sample this week. The normal seasonal increase in finished pig prices is clearly not yet evident and actually, based on comparisons with the DAPP, this is the lowest price since September 2012. Prices remain somewhat volatile as contracts are renegotiated following the end of the DAPP and the true market situation may not be completely clear for another couple of weeks. AHDB/BPEX estimated slaughterings showed a 3% reduction in the week ended 18 October, to 162,100 head. Carcase weights in the latest week edged up to 82.22kg, a marginal increase on the week but the largest weekly average on record. This is reported to be partly a result of more pigs than normal being rolled in recent weeks as supply is outstripping demand.

EU pig prices

The EU-spec GB SPP resumed its downward trend, falling to 153.98p per kg for the week ended 11 October. This was almost 2p below the level a week earlier, with post-DAPP contract changes still adding volatility to the price. Pig growth over the last few months has been positive, meaning heavier pigs at slaughter, and supplies of pigs are generally rising in at the same time, although the slaughter estimate for the latest week was below last year’s level. This increased supply has contributed to finished pig prices remaining sluggish. The record gap between UK and EU prices also continues to have a part to play. The average carcase weight for the week ended 11 October was almost unchanged from the previous week, at 82.04kg. The probe measurement reached 11.5mm, the highest since the start of the year. For the week ended 4 October, the GB APP rose marginally, by 0.30, to 158.44p per kg. During the same week, the SPP also increased slightly, to 155.62p per kg, maintaining a difference of almost 3p between the two price series.
 
Poultry
Did you know – the humble chicken

World Wide
·         50 billion chickens are currently grown each year.
·         Americans now eat 150 times as many chickens as they did 80 years ago
·         When China & India catch with the this consumption level the world will need to double its current volumes to 100 billion  

At Home

       UK – 29 million laying hens
       UK – 116 million broiler chickens
       UK – 750 million chicken slaughtered annually
       UK – 14.42 million chickens per week
       UK – 2.06 million chickens per day
       Chicken represents 46% of all protein consumed by the average person in the UK

       More than 55% of all chicken is sold as Breast, 25% as whole birds & the remaining 20% as Drumsticks / thighs / legs / wings / offal cuts

Download the November/December Report 2014 as a PDF file

 
 

 UK Beef
 
Further gains in prime cattle trade
In week ended 20 September, the deadweight cattle trade moved in a positive direction again, despite reports suggesting that trade is starting to level and overall throughputs being unchanged on the previous week. With the market continuing to benefit from solid processor demand, the GB all prime deadweight average price increased by over 2p on the week to 346.5p/kg. As such, it is edging closer to the £3.50/kg threshold which represents a reasonable target for many producers in the current climate. Despite more steers coming forward compared with the week before, R4L’s strengthened almost 2p to reach 358.2p/kg, their highest position since early May.
 
UK Beef & Veal
The combination of more cattle coming forward and higher carcase weights has resulted in some very significant year-on-year increases in Irish beef and veal production in the first half of 2014. However, at 138,200 head cattle slaughterings in July were up just one per cent, or 1,900 head, compared with July last year. With carcase weights staying higher, beef and veal production still increased by four per cent to 45,700. However, this was the smallest year-on-year uplift in 2014 so far and well behind the double digit increases in the March to June period. With the UK by far the largest destination for Irish beef, reduced availability could in some part have contributed to the stability on the UK market during July.
 
Global Snapshot
·         Uruguay; YTD Slaughter numbers increase to 1.43m head +0.4%
·         Brazil; Finished cattle prices remain firm
·         Argentina; Has warning from EU to abstain on it’s over trade with Russia
·         Russia’s; Ban on EU & US food, sees no substantial change to market values
·         Europe; Markets stable despite Russian embargo
·         USA; July beef exports down 14.6%
·         China; Consumption set to rise a further 15% by 2023
·         Australia; Lamb exports edge higher for 8th consecutive month
 
UK Lamb
Prices stabilise after throughputs fall
Liveweight lamb prices continued to follow a ‘normal’ seasonal pattern and eased on the week. The average GB SQQ for the period was back 5p to average 152.3p/kg. Numbers at GB auction markets were tighter, being back over a quarter on the notably higher throughputs earlier in the month. It is possible that, with the arrival of the breeding sale season, producers’ focus may have switched to marketing breeding sheep. Despite the GB NSL SQQ being down on the week overall, prices did demonstrate stability in some areas. Whilst the majority of auction market daily averages showed a drop in prices. Despite the recent weakening of sterling against the euro it appears that it has not been enough to improve demand on the continent. As the autumn weather arrives and with the approaching festival of Eid el Adha offering some support to prices, it is possible that the downwards pressure of recent weeks could be alleviated to some extent. However, the extent of this will, in the main, depend on consumer demand.
 
Imported Lamb
NZ sheep numbers still falling
New Zealand lamb (and mutton) production is unlikely to materialise, as performance gains should be harder to come by. In the coming 12 months or so, supplies are unlikely to show any real growth as the number of hoggets was down 8% on the year, meaning short term slaughterings should be lower. New Zealand lamb production in the 2014/15 season is likely to see little changed, unless fewer lambs are retained for breeding. If this occurs then the production base will be eroded even further, meaning longer term production will be affected. With Australian production in 2014-2016 expected to show year-on-year declines, the world trade is still likely to experience relatively tightened supplies. This should, broadly speaking, add support to the world market, which should benefit the UK as a key part of the global trade, being the both the third largest importer and exporter.
 
Chinese sheep meat imports continue to surge
Latest import figures from China continue to show that there is little sign of demand for imported sheep meat slowing. Chinese sheep meat imports were up 86 per cent on the year at 31,200 tonnes. However, this increase was purely driven by increased volumes from New Zealand, with shipments increasing three-fold on the year to 21,700 tonnes. The other suppliers, Australia and Uruguay, showed year-on-year declines, falling one per cent and nine per cent respectively. In addition to showing further growth in total volumes, there continues to be signs that the Chinese market is evolving and developing a taste for higher value product. Chinese imports of carcases totalled 6,400 tonnes or nearly 21 per cent of total imports. This compares with only 600 tonnes in the corresponding period of 2013 which amounted to less than four per cent of total imports. In May 2012 there were no shipments of carcases at all.
 
Pork
UK PRICES
The EU-spec DAPP in July averaged 161.50p per kg, down for the second consecutive month and almost 3p lower than June. Having fallen steadily since late May, finished pig prices recorded the lowest monthly average since April last year. In addition to subdued demand in the UK market, price falls in the EU added further pressure to clean pig prices. At the same time, pig supplies were somewhat more plentiful. As such, finished pig prices were 7p per kg down on the same month in 2013. Prices continued to fall and by week ended 16 August, the EU-spec DAPP had dropped to 158.35p/kg. The GB SPP average for July stood at 161.48p per kg, 2p lower than the previous month. This was the lowest monthly average since the new price series began in April this year. During the same month, the GB APP fell by a similar amount to 163.67p per kg.
 
EU PRICES
According to figures published by the European Commission, EU finished pig prices in July averaged €169.51 per 100 kg. This was around €1 lower than the previous month. Slow demand in the European Union was the key driver of lower prices in recent weeks, although the Russian ban on imports of EU pork continued to weigh on the market. The current level was around €12 below pig prices in July 2013. In the most recent week, ended 17 August, EU finished pig prices stood at €165.20 per 100 kg. For the same week, the difference between the UK and EU pig prices fell slightly to €27 per 100 kg.
 
Poultry
Did you know?
Slowing of Asian Population Growth to Impact Chicken Consumption
As the rate of growth in Asia's human population slows down, average poultry meat consumption per person has increased to 9.4kg, according to the latest estimate. As birth rates decline, so population growth continues to slow. Over the decade to 2023, population growth is projected at around one per cent per year compared with 1.2 per cent in the previous decade. According to USDA long-term projections, while population growth rates in developing countries are expected to decline, they will remain above those pertaining to the rest of the world. Hence, the developing countries’ share of the global population will continue to rise and could account for 82 per cent of the total in 2023. Global poultry meat consumption expanded by 2.5 per cent per year between 2000 and 2011 from 11kg per person per year to 14.4kg on an eviscerated weight basis. The Israelis are the biggest poultry meat eaters in Asia with an average annual consumption of 69.7kg per person in 2011. In contrast, while uptake in India in 2011 averaged around 1.8kg per person, when this is multiplied by the human population of some 1.2 billion, the total quantity of poultry eaten is a massive 2.2 million tonnes. Currently uptake is considered to be in the region of 3kg per person, and the industry considers that this will triple to 9kg by 2030.

Although per-capita chicken consumption in China has remained steady at around 12kg per person between 2009 and 2011, expansion is anticipated as living standards rise. 

Download the October Report 2014 as a PDF file


UK Beef

All three categories of prime cattle showed declines throughout last month, with the young bull average down the most, being 7p down over the past three weeks to 325.2p/kg. Young bull values are now at their lowest point since September 2012. This comes as processors continued to apply significant penalties onto some of these cattle which are outside market specifications. Meanwhile, demand for steers and heifers meeting tight specifications have consistently fared better. Going forward, this continuing development may put the economics of finishing young bulls under even more pressure.

Higher weights offset lower numbers

Entirely as a result of lower supplies in Northern Ireland and Scotland, UK prime cattle throughputs were 1% back on the year at 200,000 head. In England and Wales, throughputs were recorded as being up 4% on the year. While heifer throughputs were back 1% and steers back 2%, the number of young bulls processed was up 2% compared with January 2013, as numbers in Scotland and Northern Ireland were significantly higher. All regions of the UK recorded lower numbers. Steer and heifer carcase weights during the month were higher year on year, offsetting the lower numbers of cattle processed to a large extent. As a result, at 62,000 tonnes, production from prime cattle was similar to that in January last year.

Long term beef and veal supply expected to be tight

Supply of beef and veal in the UK this year is expected to be modestly up on last year’s position, although indications for the longer term still suggest a fundamentally tight supply situation will be maintained. The key driver of this comes from the results of the DEFRA June 2013 census, which recorded a decline in dairy and suckler breeding herds compared to the previous year. In addition, while the census did record an increased number of female beef cattle between 1 and 2 years of age, with higher heifer slaughter in 2013 it is likely most of these were destined for slaughter rather than for breeding.

Global Snapshot

• Brazil – Beef exports are down on expectations for March

• Argentina – Exports down by 18% in the first quarter for 2014

• North America – Increased cattle placements increase feed prices

• Australia – Has reported a good start to its 2014 season with increased live cattle exports

• New Zealand – Lamb production is still poor following the effects of recent drought

• EU – Exports into Russia back 35%

UK Lamb

Lamb prices stronger on tightened supplies

Despite falling marginally in the latest week, lamb prices are considerably stronger than they were throughout the start of the year. At 191.9p/kg, the latest GB SQQ, for week ended 22 February, was down less than a penny on the previous week. At this level prices are over 16p higher than they were in mid-January. This strengthening has come as lamb supplies have been reportedly tight. However, the better prices have now started to draw more lambs out, which has had some negative impact on prices in the latest week. As well as the prime lamb trade strengthening, cull ewe values have increased considerably since the middle of January. At £60 per head the latest average cull ewe price was almost £11 higher than the average in the middle of January.

Similarly, store lamb values have strengthened on the back of better prime prices. At over £61 per head, the average value of old season store lambs in GB has increased by almost £6 per head since early January. UK exports in 2014 are forecast to be almost 5% lower than the very strong levels recorded in 2013. As a result, the supplies available for consumption in the UK for 2014 are expected to be down by approximately 4% on 2013 levels. This is broadly in line with the new supply levels the UK has experienced from 2010 onwards. Looking at domestic and global patterns there remains little chance that that the UK will return to the much higher levels that were experienced prior to 2010.

NZ/Imported Lamb Imports supply hit by drought

New Zealand lamb prices start to ease

Following the usual pre-Easter spike lamb prices in New Zealand have now started to ease. However, they remain approximately 25% higher than they were last year. While prices are stronger than the low levels of a year ago, they remain lower than they were in the corresponding period of both 2012 and 2011. Availability however remains tight.

Australian forecasts paint encouraging picture for world lamb trade

With tight supplies globally and robust demand in key markets, the expectation is that the sheep sector will experience a better year. With Australia one of the two key global exporters, it is safe to assume that these market conditions can be applied to the sheep sector globally. With tight supplies forecast in both Australia and New Zealand the global supply situation appears to be favourable for the UK sector. With less product available on the world market, imports for the UK are forecast to be lower, resulting in a tightened supply scenario at home. At the same time, these lower global supplies will potentially result in increased demand for UK product in the key export markets.

Pork

UK pig price

UK finished pig prices have recently come under pressure after the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in the EU caused prices to drop across the continent. In addition to this, prices are normally expected to decline during the first couple of months of the year as consumer demand is subdued. Pig prices in February averaged at 164.17p per kg, up 5% on the previous year for the same month. However, while prices are keeping above the 2013 levels, the annual difference has narrowed in recent weeks. Pig prices in March continued to fall to reach 162.56p per kg for the week ended 15 March, still up 6p (4%) on the same week a year earlier.

EU Pork

The EU pig price declined steadily during February with the average for the month amounting to €160.41 per 100kg. This was around €3 per 100kg lower compared with the average for January. This is against the typical seasonal trend whereby prices across the continent normally strengthen from February onwards. The recent pressure on the EU pig market has been a result of the Russian import ban on EU product as a result of the African Swine Fever cases in Poland and Lithuania. Compared with the week ended 9 February the EU pig price fell by €8 to by the week ended 9 March, although it recovered somewhat in the following week to stand at €153.85 per 100kg. The UK market has held up much better and although the deteriorating market on the continent has had some impact, the gap compared with the EU average has further widened to nearly €40 per 100 kg by early March.

Poultry

Chicken prices for EU are firming, due to lack of raw material within Western Europe as stocking densities have been reduced from 42 birds per sq. metre to 36. This has taken around 15% of live birds out of the killing programme, which in-turn has put pressure availability forcing prices upward.

Download the April Report 2014 as a PDF file

 


UK Beef

Pressure on prime cattle price continues

With no change in the dynamics of the market, prime cattle prices remained under pressure for another week. Sluggish demand, increased supplies and subsequent caution from processors continued to affect the average prices of all classes of prime cattle. Latest AHDB/EBLEX estimates suggest that in week ended 17 May, throughputs were up around 2,200 head on the previous holiday week. Consequently, the GB all prime deadweight average was back 5p to 337.8p/kg. The estimated number of steers forward increased by around 1,100 head, which contributed to the price of R4L steers falling another 5p on the week to 350.2p/kg. In addition, the number of heifers estimated to have been marketed increased around 500 head and, at 344.6p/kg, R4L heifers were back 4p week on week. Young bull numbers were estimated to be at their highest weekly level in the year so far. This, combined with the continued application of penalties for out of spec animals, resulted in the overall average price for young bulls falling 6p to 310.4p/kg.

UK Beef & Veal

As expected, improved conditions have meant that carcase weights for all types of cattle were once again heavier than in the corresponding month last year. Combined with the increased throughputs, this meant that UK beef and veal production in March was up 8% on the year, at 69,100 tonnes.

Global Overview

Brazil – Production & exports expected to grow though into 2015

Argentina – Supports Brazil on increased demand throughout World Cup

Uruguayan – Exports to Russia grow exporting over 910 tons of frozen beef

Australia – Beef & Veal Production up 18% YOY

China – Marked increase in meat consumption despite lower economic growth

EU – Prepares to reopen its market to Paraguayan Beef & increases pork quota to compensate Croatia's membership

Russia – Beef imports decline in first quarter

UK Lamb

Stronger prices across sheep trade

On Wednesday 21 May, the GB OSL SQQ was down 4p on the week at 204.9p/kg, while the GB NSL for the week was down 4p at 246.7p/kg. The seasonal pattern at this time of year is for the trade to generally ease on the back of increased supplies coming forward as the new season gets into gear. As such, unless numbers fail to materialise or demand is particularly strong, the expected pattern from here onwards is for easing of prices.

Seasonal switch over speeds up

The majority of lambs marketed are still old season, with only 46% of total lambs being new season. However, the coming weeks will see increased signs of switching over, with more new season lambs sold than old season. While there are still a surprising number of old season lambs coming forward, these numbers are now slowing and the trade is showing signs of easing as more processors look to switch to the new season.

UK imports still down year on year

UK imports of sheep meat in March continued to track below year earlier levels as China has continued to pull increased volumes of New Zealand sheep meat away from the European market.

EU imports lower too

Largely on the back of the decline in shipments to the UK, total imports of sheep meat into the European Union in the first quarter of the year were also lower. At 43,100 tonnes, total imports from external suppliers were down 11% on the year. As with the UK, this decline was driven by lower volumes from New Zealand, with shipments down 15%. Meanwhile, volumes from Australia were 36% higher as they looked to fill some the gap left by the lower volume of New Zealand product.

Pork

UK pig price

The EU-spec DAPP for the week ended 17 May rose marginally to 164.23p per kg. While the latest quote represents an upward trend, pig prices are now only very marginally above year earlier levels with an annual difference of 0.20p. The market appears to be well balanced, despite supplies remaining relatively tight; during the week, the estimated weekly kill totalled 150,600 head, around 6% down on a year earlier. For the week ended 17 May, the average carcase weight fell below 80kg for the second time since the turn of the year at 79.91kg; declining weights are normal during this time of the year and average weights remain nearly a kilo heavier than last year.

Highest UK pork exports in 15 years

Latest trade figures showed that UK pork exports in March were at their highest level since October 1998. The total was just shy of 18,200 tonnes, 13% up on the same month in 2013. In addition, exports to China/Hong Kong topped 5,000 tonnes for the first time ever (with shipments to China at a record 3,300 tonnes). The proportion of total pork exports shipped to the EU fell but volumes grew by 7% compared with March 2013. While supplies to Germany dropped by 8% on the year and shipments to Ireland were little changed, many other EU markets took significantly more UK pork than last March. Despite a higher requirement from China and Hong Kong, offal exports dropped by 30% on the year during March, to 4,000 tonnes, due to much lower exports to EU markets.

Pork imports also increased in March, up 7% compared with a year earlier to 29,500 tonnes. With the exception of Denmark, whose shipments came down by 16% on the year, trade with other key suppliers rose. There was also 4% more bacon imported during the month compared with March 2013. Demand for imported sausages also increased by 13% on the year, with higher supplies from across the continent, but other processed imports declined by 6% year on year.

Poultry

Chicken prices remain firm with poultry seen as a key BBQ commodity adding pressure for supply of thigh / wings / drumsticks and breast meat for kebabs.

One of the most versatile of proteins, poultry meat is easy to prepare and cook, low in fat and can lend itself to almost any flavour or coating.

Global Overview

  • Brazil – Production & exports expected to grow though into 2015
  • Argentina – Supports Brazil on increased demand throughout World Cup
  • Uruguayan – Exports to Russia grow exporting over 910 tons of frozen beef
  • Australia – Beef & Veal Production up 18% YOY
  • China – Marked increase in meat consumption despite lower economic growth
  • EU – Prepares to reopen its market to Paraguayan Beef & increases pork quota to compensate     Croatia’s membership
  • Russia – Beef imports decline in first quarter

UK Lamb

Stronger prices across sheep trade

On Wednesday 21 May, the GB OSL SQQ was down 4p on the week at 204.9p/kg, while the GB NSL for the week was down 4p at 246.7p/kg. The seasonal pattern at this time of year is for the trade to generally ease on the back of increased supplies coming forward as the new season gets into gear. As such, unless numbers fail to materialise or demand is particularly strong, the expected pattern from here onwards is for easing of prices.

Seasonal switch over speeds up

The majority of lambs marketed are still old season, with only 46% of total lambs being new season. However, the coming weeks will see increased signs of switching over, with more new season lambs sold than old season. While there are still a surprising number of old season lambs coming forward, these numbers are now slowing and the trade is showing signs of easing as more processors look to switch to the new season.

UK imports still down year on year

UK imports of sheep meat in March continued to track below year earlier levels as China has continued to pull increased volumes of New Zealand sheep meat away from the European market.

EU imports lower too

Largely on the back of the decline in shipments to the UK, total imports of sheep meat into the European Union in the first quarter of the year were also lower. At 43,100 tonnes, total imports from external suppliers were down 11% on the year. As with the UK, this decline was driven by lower volumes from New Zealand, with shipments down 15%. Meanwhile, volumes from Australia were 36% higher as they looked to fill some the gap left by the lower volume of New Zealand product.

Pork

UK pig price

The EU-spec DAPP for the week ended 17 May rose marginally to 164.23p per kg. While the latest quote represents an upward trend, pig prices are now only very marginally above year earlier levels with an annual difference of 0.20p.  The market appears to be well balanced, despite supplies remaining relatively tight; during the week, the estimated weekly kill totalled 150,600 head, around 6% down on a year earlier. For the week ended 17 May, the average carcase weight fell below 80kg for the second time since the turn of the year at 79.91kg; declining weights are normal during this time of the year and average weights remain nearly a kilo heavier than last year.

Highest UK pork exports in 15 years

Latest trade figures showed that UK pork exports in March were at their highest level since October 1998. The total was just shy of 18,200 tonnes, 13% up on the same month in 2013. In addition, exports to China/Hong Kong topped 5,000 tonnes for the first time ever (with shipments to China at a record 3,300 tonnes). The proportion of total pork exports shipped to the EU fell but volumes grew by 7% compared with March 2013. While supplies to Germany dropped by 8% on the year and shipments to Ireland were little changed, many other EU markets took significantly more UK pork than last March. Despite a higher requirement from China and Hong Kong, offal exports dropped by 30% on the year during March, to 4,000 tonnes, due to much lower exports to EU markets.

Pork imports also increased in March, up 7% compared with a year earlier to 29,500 tonnes. With the exception of Denmark, whose shipments came down by 16% on the year, trade with other key suppliers rose. There was also 4% more bacon imported during the month compared with March 2013. Demand for imported sausages also increased by 13% on the year, with higher supplies from across the continent, but other processed imports declined by 6% year on year.

Poultry

Chicken prices remain firm with poultry seen as a key BBQ commodity adding pressure for supply of thigh / wings / drumsticks and breast meat for kebabs.

One of the most versatile of proteins, poultry meat is easy to prepare and cook, low in fat and can lend itself to almost any flavour or coating.

Download the June Report 2014 as a PDF file