17 May 2002

UK lamb shortages if slaughterings reduced

LAMB slaughterings this year are likely to be 25% to 30% lower than in 2000, which will effectively mean a shortage of British lamb this year, visitors to Sheep South West were told

David Maunder, of Devon-based Lloyd Maunder, believed that most British supermarkets still wished to maintain their share, so competition for available stock should be good. "Where there is competition for stock it is less likely that we will see a price collapse in the autumn."

But Mr Maunder felt unable to predict high prices for lamb or hoggetts next spring. "Whether we see a price rise will depend on competition from other proteins, including chicken and imported lamb from Christmas onwards.

"Another factor limiting the likelihood of sustained higher prices was the trend for most products now to be sold on promotion, with the processor paying for it. Supermarkets like to reduce price from say £3.99 to £2.99."

Earlier Kim Brown, national lamb buyer for Sainsburys had said that price offers each week had boosted lamb sales by 20% and attracted younger customers. &#42