Sheepmeat production is likely to decline this year, before recovering in 2012, according to a forecast by AHDB Meat Services.
The UK’s lamb crop is expected to be higher than last year’s, due to a slightly larger breeding flock and improved conditions, boosting lamb production in 2012. But the younger breeding flock and lower culling rates mean mutton production will continue to decline. “Overall mutton and lamb production is expected to fall 2% in 2011 before increasing 4% in 2012.”
Beef production is likely to drop by 3% in 2011 and a further 1% in 2012, as high cereal prices limit the number of dairy-bred males kept for finishing. “In addition, the dairy and beef herds are expected to stabilise this year and into 2012. As a result, culling rates are forecast to fall.”
In contrast, a stable breeding sow herd and improved technical performance means pigmeat production is likely to increase by 1% this year, and 2% in 2012. “However, high feed costs may further impact on UK pig profitability, which may result in a decline in the breeding herd as producers leave the industry,” the AHDB report says.