Mixed Picture for Livestock Producers this Christmas

Scottish livestock farmers and crofters are facing mixed fortunes of farmgate prices as we head into the festive season.

The farmgate price for prime lambs is buoyant with strong demand driving gains in the market, which is supported by a tightness in supply over last year. This market situation will be welcomed on Scottish farms and crofts which have faced a year of volatile weather and increased input costs.

Beef prices however are much lower than would have been hoped with prices for most of November being generally lower than the same time and there are no signs of a pre-Christmas boost despite the expected increase in demand.

NFU Scotland has been encouraging shoppers to support Scottish food and farming ahead of Christmas and will continue to encourage them to buy Scottish and local food.

Charlie Adam, NFU Scotland Livestock Committee Chairman, said: “The market situation ahead of the festive season has been a mixed bag for many of our livestock members. The prime lamb trade is very strong, and this is welcome following a year of challenging weather conditions.

“However, the lower returns in the beef market coupled with the significant increased costs of farm inputs will be presenting challenges to farm business viability and those of us working in the sector would have liked to have seen a demand driven boost in prices ahead of the festive season.

“NFU Scotland has been in touch with Quality Meat Scotland and the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers to convey members concern about the challenging returns in the beef sector.

“In these uncertain times, compounded by on-going political turmoil, farmers and crofters need to see returns which provide their businesses with the financial security to invest and build resilience. If Scotland is to build it’s food and drink turnover then our iconic beef and lamb sectors must be able to invest in business efficiency”.


Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4059

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 168/18

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