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Weather puts beef in demand at the expense of lamb

The hot weather has driven demand for beef burgers but consumers were looking to buy less lamb.

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Beef in demand at the expense of lamb

Barbecue weather has given a boost to cattle prices but this has come at the expense of lamb, according to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

 

The hot weather has boosted sales of steaks, burgers and sausages – but roasting joints and stewing meats have fallen in popularity.

 

And, despite fewer prime lambs for sale, demand was beneath supply leading to price drops, according to QMS director of economics services Stuart Ashworth, although prices had steadied as producers reacted to lower demand.

 

Prime

 

Prime cattle prices have continued to edge higher in recent weeks, although there were suggestions prices were now coming under pressure with the R4L steer price ‘cooling’ 1.5p/kg deadweight.


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An increase in cull cow numbers has led to a 10p/kg deadweight drop over the past fortnight.

 

“This is also having some impact on poorer conformation, O grade, prime cattle which have come under pressure price-wise, particularly in England and Wales," said Mr Ashworth.

 

Store cattle

 

The weather has also had an impact on the cattle market, with a significant increase in the number of store cattle going through auction rings due to reduced forage supplies.

 

Despite this, the proportion of lambs above the SQQ weight limit of 45kg liveweight was higher than last year, with producers looking to maximise income per lamb.

 

Returns from deadweight price-reporting abattoirs, however, suggested lambs were being drawn ‘slightly leaner’, QMS found.

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