New evaluation launched of difficult image for sheep sector

As a cocktail of market challenges has mixed to place strain on lamb costs going into the brand new 12 months, Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has launched a Between the Strains evaluation report of lamb provide and the broader elements impacting the market.

Rising imports, the cost-of-living disaster and its affect on customers, in addition to the after-effects of an unusually dry summer time and excessive enter prices, have been mirrored in unstable farmgate costs in Wales through the first few weeks of 2023. For the week ending 28 January, the prime lamb common value at public sale markets in Wales stood at 227.8p/kg. It is a decline of 5p on the earlier week, nonetheless the worth stays some 9p above the long run common.  

The report research intimately how there’s a higher carryover of outdated season lambs into the brand new 12 months than common right now of 12 months. Dry summer time climate held again grass development, whereas Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated excessive inflation in agricultural inputs. This meant that lambs have been slower than common to complete throughout 2022.

As well as, home demand has been subdued by customers tightening their belts, and recently-issued November commerce figures confirmed an increase in sheepmeat imports into the UK.

Imports and exports

“Now we have seen a rise in imports from New Zealand and this has come at a time when Welsh Lamb provide is itself increased than common due to delayed ending occasions attributable to increased feed costs and the summer time drought stunting pasture development,” stated Glesni Phillips, HCC’s Intelligence, Evaluation and Enterprise perception government.

“Now we have recorded 1.2 million head throughput at UK abattoirs throughout December 2022; that’s 5 per cent increased than December 2021 and seven per cent increased than November final 12 months. We can count on to see this increased provide proceed into 2023 as a result of there’s a bigger carry over of outdated season lambs on the bottom than we might often expertise right now.”

She highlighted optimistic outcomes for HCC’s export work, which noticed volumes rising month-on-month throughout autumn 2022, however stated HCC’s client specialists have been reporting that home prospects have been spending much less and feeling the pinch as inflation hit family budgets. “Though demand over Christmas was good, the January blues and continued value of residing disaster just isn’t serving to client demand for all types of premium proteins into the New 12 months.”

“There’s proof that customers need to commerce down at retail and reduce on consuming out so sluggish demand just isn’t sudden.” stated Glesni.

HCC’s Between the Strains Lamb Provide Report additionally appears forward to the approaching months, analysing a spread of knowledge to assist farmers assess the potential provide of lambs onto the marketplace for the approaching season.

HCC’s market report is out there here.

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