Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has said the prolonged period of dry, hot weather is beginning to impact the livestock market.
Stuart Ashworth, director of economics services at QMS, said the effects of a lack of forage availability, reduced livestock growth rates and a change in consumers’ eating habits have “started to become evident”.
The reduced availability of forage supplies is now also having an impact on the cattle market, with a significant increases in the number of store cattle going through the auction rings in the past week.
Ashworth said: “This higher volume of store cattle being brought forward slightly younger and at lighter weights, is contributing to these animals typically trading £100 per head.” He added that the major influence on prime stock prices is the effect of the long spell of hot, dry weather on consumer buying patterns and, in particular, the interest in barbecue meats.
He said: “Steaks, burgers and sausages sell well in periods of hot weather while roasting joints and stewing products fall in popularity. This consumer behaviour pushes towards increased demand for beef products at the expense of lamb.”