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Stackyard News Feb 08

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Beef and Sheep Supply to Tighten

Two new reports both point in the same direction - tight supplies of beef and lamb throughout 2008 according to the Meat and Livestock Commission's (MLC) Economics section.


beef and sheep

Sheep meat exports are forecast to be higher year-on-year for 2008 and this, combined with steady import volumes and lower domestic production are expected to contribute to a three per cent fall in supply on the home market this year.

British beef is also expected to be in demand with tighter supplies, as prime cattle slaughterings this year are also forecast lower and average carcase weights are predicted to be lower than last year.

There is still some uncertainty regarding the availability of cull cows for manufacturing beef, as much depends on the profitability of the dairy herd; if current strong prices for milk are maintained, fewer cow slaughterings are expected than last year.

MLC Business Development Manager, Joanne Knowles, said "The final June 2007 survey results showed a one per cent contraction in the dairy herd, and the suckler herd was down by more than two per cent. We expect this to feed through to December with continued decline in the national breeding herd.

"In the sheep sector, although a backlog of lambs still needs to be removed, clean sheep slaughterings are forecast to be lower for the year as a whole, partly due to a smaller lamb crop."

Sheep Market Outlook and Cattle Market Outlook are quarterly publications from MLC Economics, which review recent developments in those sectors and provide short-term forecasts for herd numbers and production. Annual subscriptions are available from as little as £36.

link Lower Supplies Likely for Sheepmeat in 2008
link Breeders Group Calls for Radical Change to Lamb Marketing
link Beef Market Fundamentals Set Fair for 2008

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