Breed Market Position

Breed Market Position

BCMS Figures Show Limousin Breed Increasing Its Market Share to 35%

The British Limousin breed has maintained its position as Britain’s number one beef breed for the 13th year in a row. Figures released for 2008 by the British Cattle Movement Service, Workington, show that out of a total of 1,821,505 beef sired calves registered in the year, 629,126 were sired by Limousin bulls. This figure represents a 35% share of the market for the Limousin breed which is up by 1% on the previous year’s figures.

Charolais figures show 297,598 calves registered representing a 16% market share, whilst Aberdeen Angus figures show 239,757 registrations representing an increase of 1% on the year to a 13% total market share. Despite the presently strong beef price, the overall number of beef sired calves has seen a further drop of 80,535 registered in the year, just over – 4%, from the 2007 figure of 1,902,040.

Continental sires continue to lead the beef figures with Aberdeen Angus being the only native breed within the top five ranked breeds of Limousin, Charolais, Aberdeen Angus, Simmental and British Blue. A particular shift on the year has seen the collective of Other Beef Breeds drop 2 percentage points to 15% market share and reflective of 268,182 calves registered, a drop of 63,102.

England saw 1,071,330 beef sired calves registered with BCMS which is a 59% share of the overall British total in the year. The Other Beef Breeds collective noticeably dropped 4% in England to a 17% share and 186,257 calves registered in total. England also saw the biggest variation to the national total rankings with Limousin being the largest numerical breed followed by Aberdeen Angus in second, British Blue third, Charolais fourth and Simmental in fifth.

Of the home countries, the highest Limousin percentage share is shown in Wales where 42% of the 109,549 beef calves registered were sired by Limousin, some 19% ahead of the Charolais breed in second position. The Limousin breed also leads the figures in both England and Scotland with a 33% market share in each country respectively. Since the formation of the British Cattle Movement Service thirteen years ago to record all British cattle births and movements, over 8.5 million (8,591,596) Limousin sired birth registrations have been recorded.

Commenting on the figures, British Limousin Cattle Society Chief Executive Iain Kerr said that the breed’s sustained success was due to commercial demand at all industry levels driven by profit and performance. “In 2008, international research reported on the discovery of the F94L gene which is found almost uniquely in the Limousin breed and occurs in most Limousin animals. The research confirmed that this ‘profit’ gene resulted in the production of animals with increased weight of prime cuts and overall beef yield; higher levels of food conversion; and a higher level of beef tenderness. The results are a scientific verification of the advantages beef producers have long recognised in the Limousin breed and are what have clearly driven the ongoing market demand”, he said.

The 2008 figures also show in the dairy herd that Holstein-Friesian or Holstein-Friesian crosses dominate with 572,881 registrations – a number which has remained firm on the previous year.