UK beef trade continues in annual growth

Friday, 24 June 2022


The UK imported 20,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef in April, 10% (1,800 tonnes) more than the same month a year ago. Most of the uplift came in Irish volumes, particularly of frozen boneless beef. Overall Irish beef volumes increased by +11% (1,600 tonnes).

Shipments also increased from Germany and Belgium, but from smaller bases.

It is important to note that HMRC has revised down its trade data for February quite significantly in this latest data release, which has notably altered the year-to-date import total. Consequentially, data for quarter one in our previous beef trade article has also since been revised. For the first quarter of 2022, the UK imported 58,000 tonnes of beef, 30% above the same period a year ago, down from 77,400 tonnes as previously reported.

Chart showing UK beef imports

This meant that a total of 78,000 tonnes of beef was imported into the UK in the first four months of the year, up 24% versus the same period a year ago. A 20% increase in the average price of these shipments gave them a total value of £391.6 million.


For beef headed out of the country, volumes grew by 53% year-on-year in April to 10,700 tonnes. However, this was 17% lower than in March. Increased shipments to France and the Netherlands continued to be the main drivers of annual growth, while more beef was also sent to Ireland.

Chart showing UK beef exports

This meant that UK beef exports for Jan-Apr totalled 42,500 tonnes, up 57% compared to the same period a year ago. A 23% increase in the average price of these shipments brought their value to £169.1 million.

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