Markets Opening for British Beef and Lamb

UK - The British beef and lamb markets are looking forward to a more optimistic future, writes Chris Harris.
calendar icon 18 May 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Speaking at the opening of the English Beef and Lamb Northern Conference in Wetherby, Yorkshire, EBLEX chairman John Cross said that the sector had been seeing higher sheep prices for the last 18 months and while beef prices have eased in recent weeks, they are still up n last year.

With regard to the rising sheep meat prices, Mr Cross said that they cannot continue to rise and he expects the market to find its own level soon.

However, he warned the farming audience at the conference that there have been too many fat lambs on the market and they would have difficulty "finding a home for animals that are out of specification".

For the beef sector, Mr Cross said that while prices are higher than last year, the sector has been experiencing higher in-put costs but the better prices have been helped by strong demand for beef products.

The beef and lamb sector is also finding success in the export market and is opening up new markets outside the European Union.

"We are once again a significant player in the global market," Mr Cross said.

"Our international reputation for risk control and traceability will affect the market."

He said that since August 2010, 40 new markets outside of the EU had been opened up, but he added that it was essential to find markets for the entire animal.

A team from EBLEX is at present in China to start negotiations for new markets for beef and lamb.

"There are still more lucrative markets to open," said Mr Cross.

"Progress in China is positive, but it is slow. Ultimately it will present a lucrative market for beef and lamb."

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