UK sheep meat exports decline again

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

By Rebecca Wright

UK exports of fresh and frozen sheep meat declined 18% on the year to 6,300 tonnes, according to HMRC data. This decline is in line with the last few months. During the month fresh lamb carcase exports grew 18% but declines in cuts more than offset this.

Lower UK production will be contributing to the lower export volumes with a reduction in product availability. In addition, increased trade friction between the UK and EU continues to play a major role. In the year-to August, exports have dropped 24%, to 41,500 tonnes.

Chart of UK lamb exports by cut

Meanwhile, UK sheep meat imports grew 8% for the month, to 3,500 tonnes. Shipments from New Zealand and Australia both increased with this growth partially offset by a decline from Ireland. For the year-to date volumes total 35,400 tonnes, down 13%. Almost all of the decline can be attributed to New Zealand and Ireland with Australia recording only a small drop.

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Rebecca Wright

Senior Analyst - Red Meat

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