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From 2007 to 2010 there has been a large increase in the ex-farm price of finished sheep, which rose from 237p/kg to 389p/kg.(1)
The value from sheep and lamb production in the UK rose significantly from £641 million in 2007 to £958 million in 2009. The provisional figures for 2010 continue to show growth with an estimated value of £970 million.
In this same period (2007-10) the production of sheep and lamb meat decreased by over 10%. There was a similar decline in the number of sheep (8%) over this period. However, the latest provisional UK results for 2011 show a 1% increase in the number of sheep and lambs to 31.4 million, the first increase since 2004.
Movements in ex-farm prices and numbers of sheep, and the production costs, have a bearing on farm incomes in the sheep sector. DEFRA have published farm incomes for a range of farm types in England, including grazing livestock farms (lowland and LFA), for the year ending February 2011.
(1 )GB finished sheep (pence per kg estimated dressed carcass weight) average price in each year.
Agriculture in the UK
June survey of Agriculture and Horticulture for the UK
Table 9—Sheep and Lambs
June survey time series
UK Livestock numbers 1866 to present
Farm Business Survey results