Having two short weeks either side of the Easter break brings a few challenges, with abattoirs and cutting plants being closed.
We have seen prices in the pork sector moving upwards, with the largest week on week increase since December – 15 % up on the same week last year.
UK lamb has stabilised for now, but with spring lamb on the horizon the pricing should remain firm, possibly increasing when the old lamb vanishes, and the spring ones come in properly. Imported lamb from New Zealand is still strong and pricing going forward is moving upwards, due to China being back in the market and purchasing protein.
The beef sector is a little more worrying; as in previous weeks we are still seeing a big carcass balance issue with the steaking products not being sold and the price being put into mince, dicing (25% increase over the last few weeks) and this week into the round cuts, topside and silverside. The prices on these items are again up slightly from last week, with no real sign of coming back.
Poultry has been a little more promising. Pricing has stabilised from the 25% increases seen a few weeks ago; coming back slightly at the end of last week. Although there has been a slight increase this week, we may be seeing some green shoots in this sector with industry sources saying there could be some less aggressive pricing from the producers, hopefully over the coming weeks.