Decline In UK Beef Output Anticipated

UK - The latest forecasts from Eblex point to lower UK beef output in 2011.
calendar icon 14 February 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The sheepmeat trade is expected to remain largely unchanged while beef imports are expected to increase slightly. Eblex expect the volumes of both beef and sheepmeat available for consumption to ease slightly as consumer spending remains under pressure.

Lower lambing rates during 2010 coupled with a declining breeding flock are expected to reduce sheep output by almost 2 per cent to 269,000 tonnes for 2011. Looking ahead to 2012 and 2013, sheepmeat output is expected to recover slightly as better lambing rates as the breeding flock settles down and becomes younger in response to better prospects for producers. Little change in trade levels, although some slight increase in exports to 95,000 tonnes may materialise, depending on New Zealand exports and supply levels in France. Consumption levels are expected to track the fall in output.

Source: Eblex

Eblex anticipate that UK beef output will fall by 3 per cent in 2011 to 885,000 tonnes, reflecting lower carcase weights and a shift from young bull beef to steer beef production, based on the expectation of higher feeding costs throughout 2011.

Eblex anticipates a tightening of 2 per cent in prime cattle supplies to 1.04 million head during the second half of the year based largely on lower calf registrations. To date this year, GB prime cattle supplies are 1 per cent ahead of last years levels, indicating some forward finishing reflecting higher feed costs

The fall in cow supplies is expected to be more pronounced, with a drop of 5 per cent anticipated, with the pattern of decline relatively steady throughout the year.

Beef imports are forecast to rise by 2 per cent to 388,000 tonnes. Consumption levels are expected to ease slightly to 1.13 million tonnes as consumers readjust to austerity measures introduced.

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