UK sheep meat exports lift in March

Thursday, 20 May 2021

By Bronwyn Magee

As of January 2021 data, the way HMRC collects trade data has changed, which will be reflected in the trade statistics. Comparisons between this and historic data should be treated with caution, and may well be subject to future revisions.

Total exports of UK fresh and frozen sheep meat lifted 11% year-on-year in March, to total 6,150 tonnes. Export prices for the month also rose year-on-year, driven by the elevated farmgate prices seen over the last few months both here and on the continent. However, the year to date volumes of exports is still 22% lower compared to the same period last year.

In Q1 as a whole, volumes to all major UK sheep meat export destinations have declined on the year, with volumes to the EU down a marked 26%, although volumes to Hong Kong lifted (+600 tonnes).

UK sheep meat imports dropped back in March, down 19% compared to the same month last year to 7,600 tonnes. There were declines in recorded trade from all major import partners, with New Zealand (-10%), Australia (-46%) and Ireland (-71%) falling year-on-year. Import volumes for the year-to-date total 14,500 tonnes, 15% lower than last year.

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