Change in pattern for UK sheep meat trade during November

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

During the first ten months of 2021, UK sheep meat exports recorded some sharp year-on-year declines, according to HMRC data. However, in November there was a shift in pattern with volumes steady on-the year. In November 2021, UK fresh and frozen sheep meat exports totalled 7,200 tonnes. There was however a drop in volumes to Ireland, but this was offset by a rise in volumes to other European destinations.

Chart showing year-on-year change in UK monthly lamb export volumes for Jan to Nov 2021

Exports in the year-to November were down 20%, to 62,200 tonnes. There were some challenges to exporting in 2021 with not only the on-going Covid-19 pandemic but also new trading arrangements and trade friction post the end of the Brexit transition period. High UK prices reduced the competitive of UK product into the EU for a period in the spring.

Meanwhile, imports during November took a tumble, dropping 39% year-on-year, to 2,600 tonnes. This brings year-to-date imports to 42,600 tonnes, 18% lower than in the same period of 2020.

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