Sheep and beef production predicted to rise in 2016
Both sheepmeat and beef production are anticipated to rise year-on-year during 2016, according to the latest edition of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) Market Bulletin.
Sheep meat production in 2016 is forecast to rise by 4%, with the sharpest increase expected to happen towards the end of the year, attributed to higher mutton production.
Cattle slaughterings in the UK during 2016 are forecast to increase 2% on last year to 1.96 million head. Heavier prime cattle carcase weights were observed throughout 2015 and the expectation is that this will continue into 2016 due to low cereal prices and high feed availability.
The lamb crop in 2016 is forecast to increase 1% on the previous year to 17.3 million head.
Beef and veal production in the UK is forecast to rise by 2% on the previous year to 902,000 tonnes.
Sheepmeat exports are predicted to increase in line with production, whilst UK beef exports are expected to increase 2% to 136,000 tonnes.
Import volumes this year are also forecast to be up on last year, with increased Irish beef production enjoying robust demand throughout 2016, particularly in the retail, foodservice and manufacturing sectors. The comparative strength of Sterling against the Euro will make Irish beef competitively priced.
Consequently, beef imports to the UK during 2016 are forecast to increase 2% to 435,000 tonnes.
Finally, the New Zealand sheepmeat outlook for 2015/16 suggests a fall in production but there could still be increased shipments to the EU to offset losses sustained in the Chinese market.