June sheep meat exports grow, while imports fall

Thursday, 20 August 2020

The latest data from HMRC shows that UK exports of fresh and frozen sheep meat grew 3% year-on-year during June, while imports fell 16%.

The UK exported 7,100 tonnes of fresh and frozen sheep meat in June, 200 tonnes more than was shipped in the same month last year. Shipments increased to Italy in particular (+200 tonnes), with more product also sent to France, and the Republic of Ireland. This offset a fall in shipments to Germany (-400 tonnes), Belgium and the Netherlands. A fall in fresh lamb carcases was outweighed by increases in shipments of fresh sheep carcases and bone-in cuts in particular.

Despite the growth in June, exports for the first six months of the year were down 13% year-on-year at 38,600 tonnes. Shipments to all major destinations were down; to France (-2,900 tonnes) and Germany (-3,500 tonnes).

Turning to imports, 4,500 tonnes of fresh and frozen sheep meat was received in June, 800 tonnes less year-on-year. Volumes from all key suppliers were lower, with the largest fall being in volumes from the Republic of Ireland (-400 tonnes). Lower imports of boneless cuts and fresh bone-in cuts were the main driver of lower volumes.

The June figures brought imports for January-June (inclusive) to 34,300 tonnes, 10% lower (-3,800 tonnes) than the same period last year. Lower imports from New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland have been the main cause of the decline.

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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