Small recovery of UK sheepmeat exports earlier this year


UK exports of fresh and frozen sheepmeat staged a slight recovery in January this year. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said that figures from the HMRC show that exports of sheepmeat increased by 489 tonnes on the same period in 2021.

Volumes during the month totalled just over 4,000 tonnes, which was 13% higher than year earlier levels the AHDB said. However, volumes were significantly below pre-Brexit levels in both January of 2022 and 2021.

UK exports of sheepmeat in January 2022 totalled 4,128 tonnes, while 12 months previous in January 2021, sheepmeat exports were recorded at 3,639 tonnes.

While in January 2020, just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, exports of UK sheepmeat stood at just over 6,900 tonnes.

Imports have also recorded a rise of +12%. This marks a change as in the last few years UK import volumes have been going down. Imports in the previous two years (January 2020 and 2021) fell just lower that the 4,000 tonne mark.

The AHDB’s Rebecca Wright shared that, “Leg cuts have largely shown more resilience against the declines than overall sheepmeat imports, demonstrating how important leg imports are to meeting overall UK lamb demand. Every year it is estimated the UK imports over 8.5 million leg joints, mostly from New Zealand.”

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