Sheep output is forecast to increase by 4 per cent, with the sharpest rise expected to happen towards the end of the year attributed to higher mutton production, according to Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) -Meat Promotion Wales Market Bulletin.
As far as beef is concerned British Cattle Movement Service data is suggesting calf registrations during 2015 were 3 per cent higher than the previous year.
Prospects for 2016’s lamb crop look reasonable with numbers expected to increase by 1 per cent on the previous year to 17.3 million head.
Cattle slaughterings in the UK during 2016 are forecast to increase by 2 per cent on the previous year to 1.96 million head, while heavier prime cattle carcase weights were observed through 2015.
The expectation is that this will continue into 2016 due to low cereal prices and high feed availability. Beef and veal production in the UK is forecast to rise by 2 per cent on the previous year to 902,000 tonnes.
Sheepmeat exports in 2016 are predicted to increase in line with production as conditions are set to improve, with Sterling expected to remain weaker against the Euro compared to the less favourable exchange rates of latter 2015.
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.
Beef imports to the UK during 2016 are forecast to increase 2 per cent to 435,000 tonnes with UK beef exports also expected to increase 2 per cent to 136,000 tonnes.