UK’s July beef imports stay lowered, exports more typical

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Imports

The latest data from HMRC shows that in July, UK beef imports (including primary, processed and offal) totalled 23,400 tonnes, down 12% on the year. Imports are still running below the five-year average, likely due to continuing lower demand as foodservice remains restricted. Production was also higher year-on-year in July, which may have also reduced import requirements.

Fresh and frozen primary beef accounted for 76% of total beef imports in July, at 17,700 tonnes. Shipments were lower primarily from Ireland, but also Poland and the Netherlands to a lesser extent. The July figures brought total beef imports for January-July (inclusive) to 175,100 tonnes, down 11% year-on-year.

Exports

UK beef exports (including primary, processed and offal) totalled 13,500 tonnes in July, down 9% on the year. Exports were elevated throughout most of 2019 due to the beef price crisis, and so July 2020 looked to be moving in-line with more “typical” volumes. Exports were still 6% above the five-year average for the month.

Fresh and frozen primary beef accounted for 64% of total beef export volumes in July, at 8,700 tonnes. Shipments were lower primarily to the Netherlands, which offset a smaller rise in volumes to Ireland. The July figures brought total beef exports for January-July (inclusive) to 106,200 tonnes, virtually unchanged on the same period in 2019.

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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