Retail beef and lamb sales fall in the UK as cold stores remain 'well stocked'

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Retail sales of beef and lamb continued their downward trend in the UK in recent weeks.

During the 12 weeks ending 24 February the critical market for Irish exports saw retail sales of fresh and frozen primary beef decline 2pc in volume year-on-year, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Meanwhile sales of fresh and frozen primary lamb declined 4pc in volume.

Within the fresh and frozen primary beef category, only mince avoided declining volumes and actually recorded an increase of 2pc volume, driven by young families purchasing more mince. 

Data indicates that the number of steaks on promotion declined, despite traditionally being on promotion for Valentine’s Day, which is likely to have somewhat driven the decline in steak purchases.

Last week saw UK beef prices fell by nearly a penny to average 335.3p/kg, according to the AHDB.

Though, it said the rate of decline slowed slightly, the measure still sits more than 22p below last year.

Prices in the UK are still under pressure with cold stores reportedly well stocked, longer than usual wait times, and a small number of abattoirs reducing the number of days they kill.

Get the latest news from the Farming Independent team 3 times a week.

In Ireland this time last year, we reported that factory prices for heifers had strengthened to €4.15/kg with the tops of the bullocks making €4.10/kg.

At the time sterling was at 88p to the euro.

For bulls, Us and Rs were at €4.00-4.15/kg, while Os were €3.85/kg.

The cull cow market also continued to perform well with R grades making up to €3.80/kg.

Compared with this week's performance, those figures are up there with the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas: wonderful to remember but not real.

Bullocks are now on a €3.70/kg base with heifers on €3.80/kg.

The best of U grade bulls are struggling to get to €3.60/kg, with Rs back at €3.40-3.50/kg.

On the cull cow front the fall is in the order of 80c/kg, with R grades yesterday reported as static yet again at €3.00/kg with Os on €2.70-2.80 and the better Ps around the €2.60/kg mark.

Online Editors


For Stories Like This and More
Download the Free Farming Independent App