UK reports a sharp decline in sheepmeat imports


Import volumes have been under pressure so far this year as Australia and New Zealand have been shipping higher volumes to China.

Posted on Dec 19 ,10:25

UK reports a sharp decline in sheepmeat imports

Sheepmeat imports in Great Britain have dropped by 20% between November 2018 and October 2019, according to the latest report from AHDB. The increased demand in China has tightened up the global market significantly and the effect was felt even in the British market, usually one of the main destinations for New Zealand sheepmeat.
"During October 2019, UK fresh and frozen sheep meat imports declined 14% year-on-year, to 3,200 tonnes, according to HMRC data. This continues the trend recorded throughout 2019. In the year to October, imports are down 20%, to 52,300 tonnes. Shipments from New Zealand and Australia are both down. Meanwhile, imports from Ireland have increased, although not by enough to offset the decline from down under. Average prices have been marginally higher, meaning the total value of these imports is back 19%, to £254.8 million," commented Rebecca Oborne, AHDB analyst.
Meanwhile, reported fresh and frozen exports increased 2% year-on-year, to 8,600 tonnes. Shipments to France and Germany declined, but this was somewhat offset by small rises to many smaller destinations. When looking at year to October data, however, the trends are different. Total exports have increased by 18% and all large destinations have recorded growth, including France and Germany. Some of the overall rise can be attributed to particularly low shipments during late spring/summer 2018. The rest of the increase is due to declining shipments from other markets (including Spain, Ireland and New Zealand) to France and Germany. The average price has been back, meaning the total value is up 9%, to £322.2 million.

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