- news, features, articles and disease information for the beef industry

AHDB Pig Market Weekly

25 May 2012

AHDB UK Market Survey - 25 May 2012AHDB UK Market Survey - 25 May 2012

HMRC data shows that in the first quarter of 2012 the UK exported a fifth more red meat offal than it did in the corresponding period of 2011, with volumes totalling 13,700 tonnes.


UK offal exports grow

With higher prices being paid the value of this trade increased 37 per cent to £12.2 million. This increase in trade was against a drop in production of five per cent.

The bulk of this offal was from pigmeat production with this product representing well over half of red meat offal exports. Shipments of this totalled 9,100 tonnes, an increase of 22 per cent on 2011 levels. The main destination was the Netherlands which accounted for over a quarter of shipments. Overall EU-27 Member States took two thirds of pigmeat offal exports from the UK with a number of Asian countries also taking a significant proportion. There was a considerable increase in the unit values of these exports with the total value increasing by 56 per cent to £7.0 million.

Exports of sheep offal almost doubled to 1,300 tonnes. The vast majority of these shipments were destined for the EU. However the importance of the non-EU market grew, accounting for over a fifth of shipments compared with only nine per cent a year before. The value of these exports also nearly doubled to £1.6 million as unit values increased slightly.

Beef offal volumes went against the trend and recorded a marginal decrease, to 3,300 tonnes, as production was eight per cent lower due to fewer cattle being slaughtered. The majority of shipments went to non-EU trading partners, accounting for 53 per cent of volumes. Within these markets the main trend was large increases to various African countries generally at the expense of far eastern markets. The value of these exports increased by almost one per cent to £3.6 million as a result of slightly increased unit values.

Exports of poultry offal were also higher than 2011 levels, recording an increase 57 per cent to total 9,000 tonnes. Non-EU markets accounted for almost three quarters of all poultry offal exports with a number of Asian and African countries recording considerable increases on 2011 levels. Unit values were also higher with the total value of these exports up almost two thirds at £5.6 million.

Cattle market trends


Deadweight cattle prices continued to ease downwards in week ended 19 May as demand was still not keeping up with supply. R4L steer prices fell two pence to 342.7p per kg, R3 young bulls were down over two pence at 328.5p per kg while R4L heifers were down over a penny at 341.1p per kg. Cull cow values were also lower with –O4L grades slipping three pence to 276.7p per kg.

The liveweight trade in week ended 23 May showed a marked rise with the all prime average recovering much of the previous week’s decline being up almost two pence at 185.6p per kg. Steers were up over two pence, heifers by nearly two pence and young bulls by over three pence. This was despite overall numbers increasing four per cent as a result of a 20 per cent increase in young bull throughputs. The much improved weather this week can’t have hurt consumer demand which has obviously in turn led to processors requiring more cattle.

Cull cow values have also benefitted from this upturn with the overall average increasing by over three pence on week earlier levels to 128.8p per kg.

Regional slaughterings

UK prime cattle slaughterings for April remained well below 2011 levels as supplies continued to be tight on the back of lower calf registrations in recent years and the decline of the breeding herd. Heifer numbers recorded a decline of seven per cent year on year while steer throughputs fell two per cent. Young bull numbers recorded the largest fall being down 12 per cent reflecting the low levels of dairy male retentions in late 2010 and early 2011. The decline in prime cattle numbers were played out across all regions of the UK. This has the potential to have been somewhat skewed by the fact April 2011 included two extra bank holidays which will have disrupted processing to some degree.

Cull cow throughputs recorded their first increase of 2012, being up four per cent year on year at 48,000 head. Again the difference in bank holidays will have had some influence on this. Adult bull throughputs for April were down 14 per cent on the year.

Prime cattle carcase weights were up by over one per cent while cull cow weights fell slightly. Overall beef and veal production fell three per cent to 84,000 tonnes.

DOWNLOAD REPORT:- Download this report here


Seasonal Picks

Managing Pig Health: A Reference for the Farm - 2nd Edition