11th February 2012

Global demand offers reasons to be cheerful for sheep farmers

Quality Meat Scotland will offer sheep farmers some reasons to be cheerful at this year’s National Sheep Association Scotland AGM.

Latest analysis of global meat trends by Quality Meat Scotland has shown that increasing world demand and currency fluctuations outside Europe, means imports from areas such as Australia and New Zealand are losing their competitive edge.

Stuart Ashworth, Head of Economics Services at Quality Meat Scotland, will present the results of the analysis at the NSA Scotland AGM in Dunblane today.

He said: “With the population of the UK expected to grow by 8% by 2020, we’re going to be looking at a rise in demand for meat within the UK. When we take into account our growing export activity this means we will be selling into, and buying from, an increasingly tightly supplied global market.”

Projections by the Food and Agriculture organisation suggest that global demand for Sheep and Goat meat will increase by 78% by 2050.

Stuart said: “Most of our lamb imports are from New Zealand and Australia, together they cover more than two thirds of global lamb exports. Both have seen declining stock numbers, although in recent years this decline may now have stopped.

“With Australia a major supplier in the middle east and New Zealand having recently brokered a bilateral free trade agreement with China, it means that although the EU will always be a major customer, there are a number of other countries looking for a bigger share of what is a fairly static supply.

“With net margins heading into the positive for all flocks save hill ewes, it’s a good time for canny farmers to take stock and see what opportunities they have to expand and take advantage of the current conditions.”

Economics services at Quality Meat Scotland publishes the latest UK and international prices, as well as providing monthly market analysis. All our material is available at www.qmscotland.co.uk



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