Sheep meat exports from the UK increase compared to 2022

August 2023 | Featured, Rural policy

two brown sheep standing on grass field at daytime

An analysis of HMRC data conducted by Hybu Cig Cymru Meat Promotion Wales has shown that sheep meat exports from the United Kingdom have performed well when compared to last years figures. The data shows that fresh and frozen sheep meat exports have increased by 14%, while imports have dropped significantly between January and June this year.

94% of this produce went to markets within the European Union, with france and germany receiving 2,500 and 1,700 tons more than they did during the same period last year. Glesni Phillips Hybu Cig Cymru’s Market Intelligence, Analysis and Business Insight Executive said:

‘This occurred despite lamb production on the UK market being less than one per cent higher than year-earlier levels,’ goin on to explain ‘And as supply in the UK is usually highest during the latter half of the year, we would expect this strong trade to continue.’

There was a drop of 31% in sheep meat imports despite fears that cheap produce from New Zealand would flood the market as a result of the trade agreement between the UK and that country in February 2022. Although a majority of the sheep meat that was imported came from New Zealand, with 60% of all imports originating there, there was a drop of 8,000 tons of imports from New Zealand. According to Glesni Phillips, this is potentially due to the growth in other markets:

‘It would seem that this decrease reflects changes to global consumer demand that have impacted on UK import trends. Much of the product from New Zealand and Australia has been shipped into China.’

This latest analysis comes from Hybu Cig Cymru’s Market Bulletin for August. Every month Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales sends out a bulletin in order to help the public and those involved in the meat industry in Wales to better understand the market. You can read their latest bulletin, that includes analysis of beef and pork imports and exports for the First 6 moths of 2023, by following this link to their website.

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