April 2016 Market Overview

UK Beef

Cows eating grass

The expected increase in demand for the Easter holiday period did not really happen other than for increases in roasting joints. The market remains static in terms of deadweight prime cattle prices. We are starting to see an increase in prices for steak cuts, rib eyes, sirloins and rumps with the light nights pending and steak night promotions from your large pub groups imminent. The demand for whole fillets has also risen due to the steak starting to feature on more and more menus. It is still worth pointing out that each animal only has 10 in number fillet steaks, once cut. Prices for VL (beef trims) are also starting to firm, driven by further increases in burger trade across the industry. We expect the market for roasting joints to remain static throughout the coming months. Prices for imported steak meat continue to rise with fillets in short supply.


UK Lamb

The increase in prices for lamb is down to the tradition of Easter as an eating occasion and the time of year with whole lamb prices up 7% on the previous month. The arrival of the spring lambs in any numbers is looking most likely to be around June. The heavy rain period from February and March has resulted in delays in letting the lambs onto the field. Demand for legs and rumps are still strong however it is worth noting that the majority of lamb being killed this time of year are Hoggets (lamb 12months and over). These are stronger in flavour to lamb and can be more resistant when eating.

NZ Lamb

The New Zealand Spring lamb season is in its prime with promotions for legs at low prices across all the main multiple retailers. However the season will be the shortest in history from New Zealand this year, following the lowest lamb crop the country has produced since 1953. The main reason for the poor numbers has been the drought in the country. Exports are forecast to be down by 4.2% this year which will only mean our  come market becoming more expensive through the back end of the year. The lambs that are coming through are finished to higher weights.


Prices continue to remain static and prices well below breakeven for producers. Slaughtering’s for UK pigs were up 8% for the same period as last year. All of the pork cuts represent excellent value for money. The low £ value against the Euro has meant a slight increase in EU pork prices.



chickensinfieldUK Poultry prices remain static, however we are seeing an increased demand for whole birds due to retailers promoting through their rotisserie ovens. EU poultryas seen increases for breast meat driven again by the weak £ and the loss of production in factories over the Easter period.

Expect the price for turkey to increase steadily now Easter is finished. This pattern will follow all the way through to November. All indications from the growers is that there will be less live bird placing’s this summer for Christmas, due to the heavy losses incurred by producers last year. It is worthwhile trying to secure your turkey prices early for the coming Christmas period.

Rose Veal

An excellent alternative to beef or Lamb and affordable for your menus.  The meat is tender and the animals are reared in humane conditions, allowing the dairy calves to be raised for up to 8 months.

Download the April Report 2016 as a PDF file