Tough Months Ahead For The Sheep Trade

Tough Months Ahead For The Sheep Trade


Latest research shows that the liveweight sheep market its likely to remain under pressure into the new year, due to the combination of subdued demand, plentiful supply and increased number of out of spec animals being marketed. The Defra statistic shows that the kill level was only one per cent higher in August this year than last year, the average carcase weight are two per cent down compared to the same month last year. The upcoming Muslim festival, which falls on the 3rd October 2014, may see a short term demand increase as we are already seeing with a significant uplift for that this week but the EBLEX sector director Nick Allen believes that our supplies will be plentiful throughout the year to come.

There is always going to be a seasonal variation in the world of the sheep price but it hit a peak of the supply levels of the market for the  sheep meat in October, but a number of factors at play means this year, the number are higher and are coming onto the market sooner.

There is not much of a question that the supply is out dropping the demand at the moment, just not here but on export market too. France, for example, is usually the most important export market for the meat we get from the sheep trade, yet they have been struggling with a poor economic situation. The strengthening of Sterling against the Euro hasn’t done any favours for the trade in this region and it does indicate lamb numbers have been over three per cent higher this September compared to last year numbers. These increased numbers have likely been compounded by increased carcase weights, which also we can suggests more are being slaughtered out of the spec. This pulls drown the average price, though it should be noted that good values can still be obtained by those marketing in spec.

Year on year, the average weights are up to 0.4kg to 19.1kg. This can be put down generally to better food availability and good weather, which has allowed the farmers to easily add weight to all their stock. Whilst there been too much to talk about the availability of imported products from areas like New Zealand, their levels were around five per cent down in August, whilst prices are up going up 14 per cent compared to last year. This can mean it is unlikely to be having any significantly negative influence on the british market.