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UK lamb exports to France boosted by reduction in NZ volumes

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

By Jennie Tanner


Production in the year to November is virtually unchanged from 2018 (-0.7%), at 75,000.  A very slight increase in carcase weights helped to maintain production, as the number of animals killed fell 1.2% to 3.85 million head.

Production in November was down slightly more than the average for the year, -2%, with production down 1,100 tonnes to 4,980 tonnes.

French total fresh and frozen sheep meat imports were reasonably static in the year to November, down just under 1% annually, to 79,300 tonnes. Imports from several of France’s larger suppliers Ireland, Spain and New Zealand were down 4%, 4% and 16% respectively. These reductions were balanced by increased imports from the UK though, up 8%. The UK was already France’s largest supplier of fresh and frozen sheep meat and was well placed to capitalise on New Zealand redirecting its exports towards Asia by upping exports to ‘fill the gaps’. The value of these imports fell just under 5%, as average prices fell.


Production in Germany was static in the year to October 2019, at 20,000 tonnes. October continued that trend, unchanged from 2018 at 2,000 tonnes.

Total fresh and frozen sheep meat imports into Germany dropped in the year to November, down 11% to 38,000 tonnes. Imports from New Zealand, Germany’s biggest supplier were down 15% to 17,500 tonnes and though imports have increased from the UK by 15%, this has not been enough to compensate for reduction in volume from New Zealand.

Germany is not a large exporter of sheep meat and exports were fairly static in the year to November, down just over 1% to 5,600 tonnes. Exports to their biggest markets the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden all fell though there were small increases into Italy and exports to Denmark increased back to levels more similar to 2017. 

Jennie Tanner

Analyst - Dairy & Livestock

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