Sheep meat exports continue to rise

Latest research from the ADHB shows that during November, imports of fresh and frozen sheep meat totalled 2100 tonnes, back 271 tonnes (11.5 per cent) on October, and 480 tonnes (18.7 per cent) less on the year.

Decreased imports were seen from all countries aside from Australia, Spain and Greece, however uplifts from these countries only amounted to an additional 140 tonnes.

There was a reduction in EU imports by 23.2 per cent on October, with the largest decreases seen from Ireland (down 224 tonnes).

Outside of the EU, Iceland and New Zealand saw the greatest reduction in supply to the UK totalling 130 tonnes less than October.

Frozen sheep legs accounted for the greatest volume of imports in November, with 588 tonnes entering the UK during the month.

This is 10.0 per cent less than entered during October.

Most categories saw a reduction in November, with notable exceptions including frozen sheep meat (45.4 per cent), and fresh short forequarters (62.1 per cent).

Analyst Charlotte Forkes-Rees said: “It should be noted that these uplifts were from much smaller starting points than other categories.

“Year to date (Jan – Nov) imports have totalled 51,900 tonnes, up 9,200 tonnes (21.6 per cent) on the previous year.

“During this time, fresh imports have decreased by 13.9 per cent (3700 tonnes), while frozen imports have increased by almost 13,000 tonnes. Greatest uplifts have been seen in trade with Ireland (+6300 tonnes) and New Zealand (+2600 tonnes).”

Exports in November of fresh and frozen beef totalled over 7000 tonnes, up almost 400 tonnes (5.7 per cent) on October.

The EU accounted for 93.6% of total exports, as well as the majority of the uplift in export volumes with all but a few countries in growth.

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