16-year high for UK sheep meat exports

16-year high for UK sheep meat exports

UK export volumes of sheep meat in the first six months of 2014 hit their highest half-year level since 1998, according to EBLEX.

Global shipments totalled 48,000 tonnes in the first half of the year, an increase of almost two per cent compared to the same period in 2013.

Demand from non-EU markets has helped drive the growth, with shipments to these markets 36 per cent ahead of 2013 levels at 10,600 tonnes. The total value of UK sheep meat exports for the period was up three per cent on the year at £183.9 million.

Peter Hardwick, EBLEX head of trade development, said: “Developing our export trade is a key area of EBLEX’s work and the figures for the first half of this year are very positive. It builds on the strong performance of 2013 which saw UK sheep meat exports break the 100,000-tonne barrier for the first time since 1999.

“Increases in exports to the Far East have been particularly encouraging, while other key markets outside the EU included Ghana, Congo and the Ivory Coast in West Africa and Norway and Switzerland in Europe.

“Export values are also up three per cent, indicating a strong performance, despite slightly unfavourable trading conditions in terms of currency. A 48 per cent increase in the export of bone-in and boneless cuts has helped achieved this and that’s very significant.

“As such, we will continue to pursue our strategy to help drive export growth and maximise the potential of full carcase utilisation for the industry supply chain.”

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