Livestock update

    Grazing stock

    Sheep meat trade

    According to the latest figures from EBLEX  the UK is now a net exporter of lamb. The figures show that sheep meat exports totalled 98,500 tones in 2011, an 11% increase on the year. During the same period imports fell 13% to 88,000 tonnes.

    EBLEX notes that imports have exceeded exports for the majority of the past 50 years.

    Stronger demand from the continent has been the key driver behind increase in exports with a number of EU states looking to the UK for lamb. France accounted for 60% of 2011 exports, up 3.1% on the previous year with shipments to Germany and Ireland both increasing by two thirds year-on-year.

    The UK is the largest sheep meat producer in the EU and third in terms of global trade behind only Australia and New Zealand. 

    Stock numbers

    The Defra survey of livestock numbers, published on 8th March 2012, for the UK at 1st December 2011 continues to show a slow but steady decline in cattle and pig numbers. However, sheep numbers have increased slightly. The table below shows the survey results.

    Given the exceptional prices for animal products it might be reasonable to expect that they are reflected in the December survey of stock numbers. It appears that this is only the case for sheep.

    See table of the number for UK (‘000) and decline on previous year (%)

    Graph 6. Dairy Cow numbers (% of 2004 total)

    Looking at the dairy sector in more detail it appears that dairy cow numbers are declining more rapidly in England than Scotland possibly as a result of the higher dairy subsidy in Scotland.

     
     

    Key contacts

    Andrew Wraith

    Andrew Wraith

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Lincoln

    +44 (0) 1522 508 973

    +44 (0) 1522 508 973

     

    Steve Hollis

    Steve Hollis

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Salisbury

    +44 (0) 1722 426 853

    +44 (0) 1722 426 853

     

    Ashley Lilley

    Ashley Lilley

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Cheltenham

    +44 (0) 1242 548 012

    +44 (0) 1242 548 012

     

    Giles Hanglin

    Giles Hanglin

    Director
    Rural Research

    Savills Margaret Street

    +44 (0) 207 016 3786

    +44 (0) 207 016 3786