UK red meat market affected by combination of factors

UK red meat market affected by combination of factors

A combination of a strong pound, increased red meat imports, plentiful domestic supply and a decline in consumer demand has affected returns for UK farmers during the first quarter of 2015.

Welsh Lamb

Welsh lamb has been affected by increased imports and the strength of sterling.

According to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, the UK produced more beef, lamb and pork between January and March compared to the same period in 2014, however exports have fallen and imports increased.

UK imports of beef and veal during the first three months of 2015 increased by ten per cent to 63,900 tonnes. At the same time UK beef and veal exports fell by 12 per cent to 23,900 tonnes.

“The current trading position for beef has been largely attributed by the strength of sterling compared to the euro,” said Charlotte Morris, HCC’s industry information officer.

The UK lamb market has also suffered, with imports of sheep meat for the first three months of 2015 up by 12 per cent on the previous year to 30,200 tonnes.

Morris continued: “The strength of sterling against the euro could add some pressure to lamb prices, particularly as the lamb crop for this season is predicted to be higher than the previous year.”

Additionally, pork imports increased by three per cent to 87,800 tonnes during the first quarter of 2015 compared to the previous year while UK pork exports fell by four per cent to 45,700 tonnes. This has been attributed to higher shipments from Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium.

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