Volume sales of beef and lamb drop in past year

Higher on-shelf prices helped consumer spending on beef rise 3% in the past 12 months, according to the latest data from Kantar.

But volume sales across the UK dropped 5% in the 52 weeks to 22 June, as shoppers were put off by higher prices.

Sales of roasting joints and stewing steak saw the biggest falls, while steaks and mince only suffered slight declines.

See also: Beef prices unlikely to recover until late 2014

Analysts have blamed the heavy slump in farmgate beef prices since last summer on the combination of low consumer demand and a surge in supply in early 2014.

Over 12 months to the end of June, the average retail price increased 8% to £7.67/kg, while the all-steers deadweight price dropped 18.5%.

Northern Ireland Livestock and Meat Commission said similar numbers of consumers were buying beef in smaller volumes.

“The beef price is going up, you are less likely to buy it – simple as that,” said LMC market analyst Seamus McMenamin.

“Volumes are going down but the supply has dried up a bit, which had helped keep the price up a bit.”

In the same period, UK spending on lamb fell by both volume and value.

Purchases were 2% lower than a year earlier at £640m and volumes were 6% down.

The average retail price was 5% higher, which also appeared to dampen demand.