UK - Consumption data for the final quarter of 2013 has recorded a decline in both the value and volume of sales in Northern Ireland for all categories of meat, write analysts at the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC).
The value of total meat sales was back 9.6 per cent during the final quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 while the total volume of meat sold was back 13.3 per cent year on year.
The LMC reports that the value of beef sales in NI during the final quarter of 2013 was back 11.3 per cent on the same period in 2012 with the volume of beef purchased back by 14.9 per cent year on year.
Data for the 52 week period ending the 05 January 2014 has indicated an average retail price of beef of £7.56/kg, an increase of 31p/kg or 4.3 per cent on the previous 52 week period when the average retail price was £7.25/kg.
Despite this increase in retail price and a slight increase in the proportion of households buying beef both the volume and value of sales has come back year on year. This indicates that while more consumers are buying beef they are buying it in smaller volumes and spending less.
The average spend per household on beef was £152.60 during 2013, back £22.60 from the previous year when the average household spend was £175.20. Meanwhile sales of lamb in NI during the final quarter of 2013 also recorded declines in terms of both value and volume when compared to the same period in 2012.
The value of lamb sales were back by 15.1 per cent between the two periods while the volume of sales was back by 6.7 per cent year on year.
The drop in the value of lamb sales has been driven by a decline in the average retail price year on year. During 2013 the average retail price for lamb was £7.38, down £0.73/kg from the previous year when the average retail price was £8.11/kg.
A drop in the proportion of households purchasing lamb by 2.5 percentage points year on year will also have contributed to this downward movement in the value of sales.
During 2013 the average household spend on lamb in NI was £48.40 compared to £54.40 the previous year.
This £6 decline represents an 11 per cent drop in household expenditure on lamb year on year. With both the value and volume of beef and lamb sales under pressure in NI in recent months it is timely that LMC is running a high profile beef and lamb advertising campaign in the first quarter of 2014.
The campaign is aimed at stimulating consumers to buy NI FQAS beef and lamb as part of a healthy balanced diet.TheCattleSite News Desk