Aug/Sep Market Update: Meat

26 August, 2021
Allan Peart, Group Commercial Manager

They say forewarned is forearmed; this month's market update will hopefully assist with your meat menu choices.

The challenges for the UK meat market continue into September and there appears to be no let up when it comes to the ongoing supply chain challenges.

The reopening of leisure and hospitality businesses has not been a smooth one, yet those who have reopened their doors, have seen records numbers of visitors. However, this increase in demand, along with the lasting effects of Brexit and lockdowns, has led to increases in the cost of food due to demand outstripping the ability to supply. The meat category has not escaped the challenges this has created...

Beef - Domestic supply has been extremely tight during the last 12 months with British herds decreasing for the second consecutive year. While our own domestic availability is under pressure, there are still outside factors that will influence pricing such as the strong global demand for proteins, which will also limit the volume of imported product available to the UK market, and that will have a big effect on prices. The favourable weather is a big positive for the leisure and hospitality industry, however it also means demand for key cuts such as primes steak cuts and lean mince for burgers keeps prices high and rising.

Lamb - Lamb is also in tight supply with throughputs 28% lower than the same week a year ago. This is being reflected in the price, with lamb 12% higher than the five year average. The view here is that lamb pricing will remain high until at least November.

Pork - The National Pig Association is seeking urgent action from the Government as staff shortages are contributing to the lack of throughput - some processors are down by 25%. The industry is suggesting that it's edging closer to crisis with major backlogs all the way through the supply chain. Farmers are having to hold onto their pigs for longer than usual which will also be causing pressure on famers who are already seeing record feed costs.

Poultry - There is currently no let up on pressure of the poultry market. Retail contracts are taking priority over the foodservice and the hospitality industry, so as with all proteins, flexibility in menu choices are encouraged. Pricing is anticipated to rise by between 8% and 15% in the coming weeks.

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