Restrictions caused by COVID has meant abattoirs have been working on reduced hours and as a result we are seeing a lack of slaughtered product.
There is a real shortage of prime beef at the moment. Deadweight cattle prices are higher than we've seen in the last 5 years. In addition to this the requirement for mince means there is an imbalance to overall carcass sales. Prices as a result have soared and premiums of over £3 per kilo on prime steak lines are being seen.
Lamb prices have also been affected by the lack of available imported product with pricing of £1.50 per kilo higher than the 5 year average being achieved. The expectation is that with seasonal lamb and the trade being seen in retail specifically, the market is expecting to see record prices this year.
Poultry in comparison has remained relatively stable but as a result of uncertainty in the market, the increase in cost of feed and the struggle to meet demand, pricing is starting to rise as processors are competing for the same stock.
Pork has been similar to poultry and remained stable throughout the year but is significantly at a lower price than it was a year ago with producers being under financial pressure. A weaker Chinese demand will mean exports are lower despite a slight increase in production.