US imported lamb market update

02 August 2018

Increasing supply stemming from Australia and New Zealand has resulted in easing US imported lamb prices in recent weeks, however, prices remain above year-ago levels.

US domestic lamb market:

  • For the four weeks ending July 14, US domestic sheep and lamb slaughter averaged 34,700 head/week, 1.9% lower year-on-year and down 10% on the five-year average.
  • Lamb cold storage stocks at the end of May were 35.6 million pounds, 19.3% higher than a year ago and 12.7% higher than the five-year average.
  • Ample cold storage inventories, high retail prices and competition from other proteins have notably impacted demand for lamb in the US market.

Imported lamb:

  • Lamb imports from both Australia and New Zealand have been increasing in the last three months, with June imports notably higher for both countries.
  • In the four weeks ending July 7, Australian lamb imports averaged 1,089 MT/week, 19% higher than the same four-week period in 2017.
  • Prices for imported lamb remain above year ago levels. However, lower domestic prices, increased supply of imports and a lack of retail features have begun to negatively impact prices in recent weeks.

Read the latest monthly US Lamb Market Update prepared by Steiner Consulting

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