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Agribusiness News October 2023 – Sheep

29 September 2023

Prime sheep sales are starting to pick up pace after a slow start, with lambs taking longer to finish this year.  The price is currently above that of the previous two years for lambs, with it being forecast for the price to be sustained, given the shortage of well fleshed lambs south of the border due to drought conditions in the summer.

The price of our finished lamb is currently well ahead compared to the Australian and New Zealand lamb.  With their lamb price being so low, their product is very attractive to importing countries such as China and the EU.  A recent report from Meat and Livestock Australia forecasts the Australian lamb to grow in value by 4.5% to the end of this year.  This increase will still give the price advantage.  The below chart shows the deadweight €/kg for various countries for the week ending 16th September 2023.


Imports & Exports

As well as the price of the product, the geography of the product, combined with supply and demand and global currency exchange dominate the trade for lamb.  With the UK product being geographically closer to the EU makes the freight and logistics more attractive.  For Australian and New Zealand lamb, they have targeted closer markets to home e.g., China and the Middle East.

While the New Zealand flock has been decreasing in the last five years with an estimated 200,000 ha of sheep and beef farms being sold into forestry; their exports have not decreased, as the domestic demand for sheep products have also declined.

Between January and June this year (2023), compared to last (2022) the import volumes to the EU from NZ have increased by 20%, while imports to the EU from the UK have increased by 19%.  In contrast, imports to the EU from Australia have decreased by 33%.  Interesting, from a country undergoing flock expansion it demonstrates how they are currently targeting developing markets closer to home.

Aussie Beef, Lamb, and Goat Brand

The Australian meat levies have rebranded their promotion from the True Aussie Beef and Lamb brand to the Aussie Beef, Lamb, and Goat brand.  The refreshed brand seeks to focus on key attributes to a global customer with the following words featuring heavily in their marketing – genuine, trustworthy, safe, nutritious, and tasty.  Their graphics have been updated to highlight green pasture, clean water, sunshine, and fresh air.

This new branding will be targeted globally, and with the trade agreement now in full force we will see it here in the UK, with an ultimate goal of increased orders driven through our retailers and food service industry.  This demonstrates how we need to shout more on our fully traceable, high welfare, biodiversity boosting British product!

Kirsten Williams; 07798617293


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