FMD Market Impact to Persist, says Eblex

UK - Backlogs of up to 400,000 head of lambs and 19,000 prime cattle across Great Britain - which will have grown further through October – will take the rest of 2007 and early 2008 to clear says the English Beef and Lamb Executive (Eblex).
calendar icon 9 November 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Exacerbating the situation is the fact that average carcase weights for lambs has been a good 4 per cent higher than the same period last year and sales of the heaviest lambs (over 45.5 kg liveweight) have increased markedly, putting further pressure on the market.

Eblex says liveweight prices have been affected to a noticeably greater extent than deadweight values. At 80p/kg, the average SQQ price for finished lambs in the first three weeks of October was 28 per cent down on the trade before foot-and-mouth. However, the Executive claims carcases averaged 207p/kg over the same period.

Even greater falls have been recorded in the lighter weight lamb categories as a result of export restrictions which cut UK exports by 5,200 tonnes or 67 per cent in August alone and resulted in some 200,000-250,000 more sheep being directed to the domestic market.

The relative seasonality of marketings has meant the cattle trade has been proportionately less affected with prime cattle slaughterings down 7 per cent on 2006 in both August and September.

Source: Farmers Guardian
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