Lamb prices back as factories get ready for Eid festival

Ireland: This week will see one of the biggest kills of the year as factories push more numbers though the system in anticipation of the Muslim festival of Eid.

The factories have maintained that there “are a lot of sheep around”, while also stating “that the market has become very difficult because of big UK numbers and the falling value of sterling” and they are cutting their price cloth to suit their measure.

The reality was yesterday morning official quotes were back by 15-20c/kg, while Dawn Ballyhaunis were not available to quote.

On the price table Kildare Chilling continue as the top payer despite shedding 10c/kg from last week on a price yesterday morning of €4.90/kg +10c/kg bonus. Next up are Moyvalley Meats on a straight €4.90/kg which is 10c/kg less than last week’s €5.00/kg. Kepak Athleague slip from last week’s second best payer into third position this week as they reduce their quote by 15c/kg to €4.85/kg+ quality bonus of 5c/kg.

The two ICM plants seem to have made fourth place their own in recent times and by dropping their quote 20c/kg to €4.70+10c/kg quality bonus they hold on to that position again this week.

Available quotes for ewes yesterday saw their price also being squeezed by between 5-20c/kg as Kepak fall back 5c/kg from last week to €2.60+quality bonus payment of 5c/kg, while the two ICM plants wiped 20c/kg off their quote from last week and yesterday were on €2.50/kg.

full story –

Martin Coughlan

Fall in NZ lamb exports to the UK

Lamb exports to the UK are falling, down 21 percent – or 13,000 tonnes – for the season so far.


New Zealand’s market share of lamb in the UK has dropped from 22 percent last year to 18 percent, according to new AgriHQ figures.

Exporters have been trying to divert frozen lamb away from the UK market in the past couple of months.

New Zealand’s largest sheep meat exporter, Alliance, said New Zealand exported 15 to 20 percent of its lamb to the UK, and while chilled volumes had remained the same, frozen exports had dropped.

Alliance general manager of sales Murray Brown said that was due to several reasons.

“With the Brexit situation, in terms of consumer disposable income, it’s probably been tightened a little bit, and so meat and general food products are down.”

New Zealand was pushing into other markets such as the US and Middle East. The AgriHQ figures showed that exports to the US were up 17 percent on last year and up 30 percent in the Middle East.

Mr Brown said political and farmer pressure for UK supermarkets to only stock British lamb was not having much of an influence on exports.

“This is not new, and in terms of sustainability in farming … in the UK they’re trying to keep their own farmers on the land and develop better productivity.

“So we do see this from time to time and there are retailers that have gone for a buy British campaign.”

He said the UK market was still uncertain because of Brexit and Alliance did not know if tariffs or quotas would be affected at this stage.

“Whatever happens between the UK and Europe, I don’t think it has a huge impact on exports to these countries… It may be a slightly different mix [of meat exports],” he said.

“It will have some sort of impact across the supply base.”

full story – RNZ

Radio New Zealand

Sterling’s collapse triggers huge rise in meat exports

The collapse in the value of sterling on the international market has produced a record-breaking tonnage of exports of red meat from the UK, with sales of more than £500 million being recorded in the first six months of 2017.

That is a rise of 18 per cent on the previous year and it is backed up with sales of fifth-quarter meat or offal rising by 21 per cent. While European markets have been the main destination for the beef, lamb and pork from the UK, shipments to Asia have also risen, according to the figures supplied by the UK government.

The highly touted Chinese market for pork bought more than half the 41,000 tonnes of pigmeat traded; a 6 per cent rise in the first half of this year compared to 2016.

Lamb produced in this country has also been in demand with exports to both European and non-EU countries up by 18 per cent on the first six months of last year.

The value of sheep meat exported in that period has been put at £178 million. Beef exports to countries outside of Europe also played their part in the record breaking figures with a massive 45 per cent year-on-year rise with almost 8,000 tonnes going to these markets.

Earlier this month, Stuart Ashworth, the economics guru at Quality Meat Scotland, described beef exports outwith Europe as being “useful” in helping the domestic trade, although he added the EU remained the “most important export market.” “While the current market is being helped by lower domestic beef production it is also being supported by sterling’s weakness,” he said. “This has encouraged greater export activity and reduced the competitiveness of imported product.

“Across Europe, producer prices are currently around 3-4 per cent higher than this time last year, while after adjusting for exchange rate movement GB producer price is similarly up around 3 per cent.”

Read more at: The Scotsman

Andrew Arbuckle


Brexit is an ‘existential threat’ to Irish beef

Uncertainty surrounding Northern Ireland’s border in the Brexit negotiations is taking a toll on Irish farmers, posing an “existential threat to the sector”, sources in Brussels said.

Take beef, for example. The UK absorbs 50% of Irish beef exports but the declining value of the British pound, which recently hit another record low against the euro, is undermining exporters’ profitability.

“Irish beef farmers have taken a significant hit around the month of August, the price of beef has gone down from £4.05 (€4.40) about six weeks ago to £3.80 (€4.10) per kilogramme today,” said Eddie Punch, president of the Irish cattle and sheep farmers’ association (ICAS).

“Every time there is an adverse movement in the exchange rate, meat factories start to talk about prices going down. We think that while there is a slight weakening in the sterling, it is not justified, as UK farmers are still getting a full price for their beef.”

It doesn’t help that the Irish beef production line is a wide pyramid structure: thousands of small scale breeders competing to sell to a handful of meat manufacturers who hold a near-monopoly and dictate prices.

The market is effectively in the hands of meat giants ABP Group and Dawn Meats, who recently took over major competitors.

“There is less and less competition between the processors, which is making it very difficult for the farmers to have negotiating power,” said Punch.

full story –

Paola Tamma

Canadian beef importers visit UK factories

A group of Canadian beef importers made a special visit to the UK this month to see first-hand the country’s high standards in meat production.

The visit was organised by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Department of International Trade to increase the presence of British beef and lamb on the Canadian market.

The group was given a tour of four major beef processing plants as well as a lamb processing plant, a beef farm featuring British native breeds and a number of food stores and leading supermarkets.

AHDB Head of Livestock Export Trade Development Jean-Pierre Garnier said: “Our Canadian guests were happily surprised by the high standards in British meat plants and the beef processing technology applied there.

“This important visit is a major step towards increasing our presence on the Canadian market with the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Trade Agreement (CETA) soon in operation which will eliminate quotas and tariffs for EU beef.

“Canada is of course a major beef producer and exporter. However, they are interested in some specific cuts and offal and we are already selling good volumes to Ontario and Quebec. In addition, we are progressing with some lamb marketing projects in the two Canadian provinces. Canada imports more than half the lamb consumed there.

“In short, this successful visit bodes well for the development of British beef and lamb on the Canadian market.”

story – AHDB

Irish Spring lamb quotes ease

Ireland: Procurement managers have moved to bring spring lamb quotes back by 10-20c/kg in recent days. Most plants are now offering 470-490c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme bonuses) to secure supplies.

Ewe prices have also come under some pressure this week and the plants that have set prices are starting negotiations at 250-260c/kg.

Kildare Chilling leads the way and is offering farmers 490c/kg + 10c/kg QA for spring lambs. Kepak Athleague is starting negotiations with farmers at 485c/kg + 5c/kg QA and the two Irish Country Meats plants are offering a base quote of 470c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

There was a noticeable increase in the number of spring lambs slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants during the week ending August 20.

Some 49,411 spring lambs were slaughtered during the third week of August; that’s an increase of 7,532 head or 18% compared to week earlier levels.

Another big kill is expected this week as the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Ahda is set to take place on September 2.

read more..

full story – agriland

Sean Cummins

Irish beef exports to China move a step closer

Chinese delegation to visit eight Irish meat plants this week


More than two years after the formal lifting of an embargo on Irish beef exports to China, Ireland remains in limbo, with no formal agreement on when trade can recommence.

Chinese inspectors will make another trip to Ireland this week, visiting eight beef plants, as the torturous process of securing Beijing approval for export licences continues.

Inspectors from the China state administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine (AQSIQ) have been teed up to visit various plants operated by Ireland’s leading processors, including Kepak, ABP, Slaney, Dawn, Dunleavy and Liffey.

It is unclear at this stage if the Chinese export licences will be issued to individual plants or to individual processors, or to the beef industry here as a whole.

With Brexit casting a shadow over the UK market, which takes most of Ireland’s beef output, gaining access to China has taken on added urgency.

China, the world’s top meat market, is loosening long-standing restrictions on beef imports from major suppliers to feed the appetite of the country’s growing middle class for steaks and ribs.

Over the past few decades, Beijing banned imports of beef from European countries and the United States during outbreaks of mad cow disease.

full story – Irish Times

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

What The Heck? worst football kit ever?

Football team sponsored by Heck sausages accused of having ‘worst kit of all time’


An amateur football team sponsored by Heck sausages has caused a stir with their new brightly coloured kit, which critics say makes them look like sausages.

The Yorkshire team, Bedale AFC, won sponsorship from Heck after it build a factory nearby, and decided to kit the team out in bright pink shorts and orange tops covered in sausages.

Football internet forums have branded the kit the ‘worst of all time’ and chairman Martyn Coombs told The Northern Echo when the local company’s marketing team came up with the “interesting design” for their kit they were a bit taken aback.

But now it is a badge of honour for the team, he said: “ As an amateur football club we rely on the generosity of local businesses to sponsor us, health and fitness you can appreciate is paramount, in the past we’ve been sponsored by Hall’s Fish and Chip’s of Bedale, R and R Ice Cream of Leeming Bar and now Heck Sausages, so you can see our bodies are temples.”

story – pig world

Silver Fern ships chilled beef & lamb to test Chinese market

Silver Fern Farms Confirm First Sea-Freight Container of Chilled Beef And Lamb to China

Silver Fern Farms has launched a large-scale China chilled pilot with the first sea-freight container shipment of chilled beef as well as multiple air-freight orders of beef and lamb set for customers across China.

The pilot is part of a six-month trial negotiated by the government to test chilled red meat access into the China market. While small-volume air-freight product has been sent into market, it is understood that this is the first sea-freight container to test the market says Silver Fern Farms GM Sales Grant Howie.

“It is important that during this trial period we test the market’s protocols and supply chain for chilled meat at sea-ports as well as via air-freight,” Mr Howie says.

“With chilled product in China we need to test the process at scale which is why we have worked with one of our customers to take a full 20ft container of chilled product.”

The first sea-freight container leaves New Zealand this week and is due to arrive into China in early September.

“The cuts they are taking are important. They are primarily secondary cuts of prime Beef – cuts that would otherwise have been sold frozen at lower prices. They have the capability to position these traditional Chinese cuts at a premium in supermarkets.”

“We have also partnered with a major multi-national high-end supermarket chain for an order of lamb cuts, including premium lamb racks. We look forward to further orders at scale so we can test sea-freight container orders once the new season lamb production comes on in coming months.”

full story – scoop business nz

Cargill backs startup that grows ‘clean meat’

Cargill Inc., one of the largest global agricultural companies, has joined Bill Gates and other business giants to invest in a nascent technology to make meat from self-producing animal cells amid rising consumer demand for protein that’s less reliant on feed, land and water.

Memphis Meats, which produces beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells without raising and slaughtering livestock or poultry, raised $17 million from investors including Cargill, Gates and billionaire Richard Branson, according to a statement Tuesday on the San Francisco-based startup’s website. The fundraising round was led by venture-capital firm DFJ, which has previously backed several social-minded retail startups.

“I’m thrilled to have invested in Memphis Meats,” Branson said in an email in response to questions from Bloomberg News. “I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone.”

“The world loves to eat meat, and it is core to many of our cultures and traditions,” Uma Valeti, co-founder and chief executive officer of Memphis Meats, said in the statement. “The way conventional meat is produced today creates challenges for the environment, animal welfare and human health. These are problems that everyone wants to solve.”

full story – bloomberg

Shruti Singh