UK sheep meat imports and exports both decline in November

Thursday, 16 January 2020


During November, UK imports of fresh and frozen sheep meat recorded a modest 2% (100 tonnes) decline compared to Nov 2018, to stand at 4,700 tonnes, according to HMRC data. Shipments from New Zealand and Ireland both declined while imports from Australia increased. Just under half of all the imports were of leg cuts. Reflecting the high prices for sheep meat on the global market currently, the average price for the month stood at £5,200/tonne.

In the year-to November UK imports have fallen 19% to 57,000 tonnes. Much of this decline was weighted towards earlier months in the year reflecting the seasonality of UK imports.


Reported UK exports of fresh and frozen sheep meat fell only 1% (100 tonnes) year-on-year in November, to 8,500 tonnes. Shipments to France, Germany and Ireland all declined, although were offset by rises in shipments to a variety of smaller destinations. The average price was up 11% on-the-year, to £4,100/tonne.

In the year-to date, export volumes have recorded a sharp 16% rise, to 86,000 tonnes. Exports were low during the summer of 2018 whereas they returned to a more ‘normal’ level during 2019.

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