AHDB: Sheep meat exports continue to rise
Decreased imports were seen from all countries aside from Australia, Spain and Greece, however uplifts from these countries only amounted to an additional 140 tonnes. There was a reduction in EU imports by 23.2% on October, with the largest decreases seen from Ireland (down 224 tonnes). Outside of the EU, Iceland and New Zealand saw the greatest reduction in supply to the UK totalling 130 tonnes less than October.
Frozen sheep legs accounted for the greatest volume of imports in November, with 588 tonnes entering the UK during the month. This is 10.0% less than entered during October. Fresh boneless cuts of sheep meat was the next largest import, with 403 tonnes, a 14.6% reduction on the previous month. Most categories saw a reduction in November, with notable exceptions including frozen sheep meat (45.4%), and fresh short forequarters (62.1%). It should be noted that these uplifts were from much smaller starting points than other categories.
Year to date (Jan - Nov) imports have totalled 51,900 tonnes, up 9,200 tonnes (21.6%) on the previous year. During this time, fresh imports have decreased by 13.9% (3,700 tonnes), while frozen imports have increased by almost 13,000 tonnes. Greatest uplifts have been seen in trade with Ireland (+6,300 tonnes) and New Zealand (+2,600 tonnes).
Exports in November of fresh and frozen sheep totalled over 7,000 tonnes, up almost 400 tonnes (5.7%) on October. The EU accounted for 93.6% of total exports, as well as the majority of the uplift in export volumes with all but a few countries in growth.
The split of fresh exports increased slightly on October, up 476 tonnes and now accounting for 92.1% of export volume in November. Fresh and chilled lamb carcases and half carcases remained the top export (5,300 tonnes), followed by sheep short forequarters (364 tonnes). The top performing frozen product was bone in cuts of sheep meat (169 tonnes), making it overall the fifth top performing export for the month.
In the year to date (Jan - Nov), 67,700 tonnes of fresh and frozen sheep meat has been exported, up 8.9% (5,500 tonnes) on the same period last year.
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