The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has published the latest Kantar retail purchases data for the UK covering the 12- and 52-week periods to 9 July 2023.
The top performer is steak meat, which shows an increase of 116t or just over 1% on the previous 12-week period.
However, for the full year to 9 July, sales of steak meat were down in volume by 9%, though the value increased by 11%.
Overall beef volume sales were down 2.5% for the 12-week period, though the value increased by 13% reflecting higher retail prices and part of the wider food inflation issue.
The full-year figures show a 3.7% drop in beef volume sales, though, again, the value was higher, up 11%.
Sales of roasts were under particular pressure in the year to 9 July, down almost 12% in volume, though, again, the value increased by 10.8%.
Lamb sales struggle
Lamb sales continued to struggle in the 12 weeks to 9 July, with both volume and value declining. Volume sales were down by 7.2% compared with the same period last year and the value was down 3.8%.
Comparing the 52-week figures to 9 July with the previous year also showed a negative picture, with volume sales down 9% and consumer spend down 1.2%.
Despite the encouraging performance of steak meat sales in the UK, the overall picture for beef and lamb sales in the latest Kantar data is negative.
This reflects the fact that lamb in particular - but also beef - are the most expensive meat proteins, with pork and chicken offering cheaper alternatives.
This becomes a particular issue at a time of high food price inflation as the UK is currently experiencing.
Despite all this, the UK remains one of the most valuable beef and lamb markets in the world.
It is becoming an ever-more competitive market with free trade deals creating new opportunities for beef, lamb and dairy exports for these countries and in the process creating alternative suppliers to Irish exporters.
The deals came into effect at the beginning of June and volumes of both beef and sheepmeat have already increased and are expected to continue doing so in future.