Livestock numbers stabilise while consumer spend rises, says HCC

Livestock numbers stabilise while consumer spend rises, says HCC

The 2021 Agricultural and Horticultural Survey for Wales has shown that the number of sheep, cattle and pigs remained relatively stable as gate prices and consumer demand increased.

Published by Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), the study revealed a tight supply of lambs in the UK market, leading to strong average prices for lambs currently around 25% above 2021 levels. Cattle prices are also historically high with numbers remaining fairly static.

According to Glesni Phillips, data analyst at HCC and author of the survey, the Great British public have spent 4.4% more on beef during the 12 week period to 31st October 2021 than they did during the same period in pre-Covid 2019. Phillips added that total spend on lamb is also 9.5% ahead of its 2019 equivalent for the 12 week period ending 3rd October, with roasting joints seeing an increase in demand.

“This increased consumer spend at retail, buoyant retail demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, decreased imports from New Zealand and Australia in particular, and Brexit-related issues at processing sites have all contributed to the increased farmgate prices during 2021.”

She added: “It is hoped that consumer demand for red meat will continue during the run-up to Christmas, with consumers having already shown a strong level of support towards red meat.”

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