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Beef Declines in Red Meat Sales Records

15 October 2013

Survey data shows UK beef sales fell nine per cent through the 2013 summer on the corresponding period in 2012, say Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC)analysts.

The latest available consumption data from Kantar World panel has indicated a two per cent contraction in the value of total fresh and frozen meat sales to £741 million in the UK during the twelve weeks ending 18 August 2013 when compared to the corresponding period in 2012.

A similar trend for expenditure on beef between the two periods resulted in a three per cent contraction in spending to £392 million while the value of lamb sales was unchanged year on year at £131 million, write LMC market experts, write LMC market analysts. 

The volume of beef sold in GB during the twelve week period ending 18 August 2013 was back nine per cent on the corresponding period in 2012 to 51,714 tonnes. A key factor in the decline recorded in the volume of beef sold has been the seven per cent increase in the average retail price to £7.58.

This has resulted in a drop in household penetration which was back three per cent to 66 per cent between the two twelve week periods. Chart 1 plots the average retail price of beef for the period January 2012 to August 2013 against the volume of beef purchased by UK consumers.

Graphic Courtesy of the LMC

The chart clearly indicates that there is a strong relationship between the average retail price of beef and the volume of purchased by consumers.

August 2013 the average retail price for beef was £7.62, an increase of 49p/kg on the corresponding four week period ending August 2012. This accounts for a 6.8 per cent increase in retail price between the two periods.

Meanwhile, the volume of beef purchased by UK consumers has shown a decline. During August 2013 17,034 tonnes of beef were purchased by UK consumers, a decline of 1,617 tonnes on the same period in 2012 when 18,651 tonnes were purchased.

All the major cuts of beef have shown declines in the four week period ending the 18 August 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. Sales of roasting joints in particular were impacted by the
warmer weather this summer with sales back 8.5 per cent year on year with sales of beef stewing steak back 8.4 per cent year on year.

Sales of beef mince and beef frying/grilling steaks were back by 2.1 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively between the two periods.


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