The UK sheepmeat market is being predicted to remain stable throughout 2003, according to latest forecasts by the Meat and Livestock Commission.
Production is being tipped to increase slightly to 299,000 tonnes, but still remains around 25% below pre-foot and mouth levels. Imports are expected to remain unchanged at 110,000 tonnes while exports are predicted to rise 9% on last year's levels.
During 2003, the MLC forecasts lamb supplies will increase by 4% or 592,000 head to create a total herd of 13.6 million, with most of the increase during the final quarter of the year. Meanwhile cull ewes are expected to decline by 4%.