UK sheep meat exports highest in over a decade

UK sheep meat exports highest in over a decade

Sheep meat exports from the UK in 2013 broke the 100,000-tonne barrier for the first time since 1999, according to EBLEX.

UK export figures from HMRC revealed that total shipments of fresh and frozen sheep meat last year reached 103,176 tonnes, up 9% on the year, with growth in both EU and non-EU markets.

Exports to non-EU markets experienced the most significant increases on the year, with the volume up 44% at 17,637 tonnes. The value of exports to non-EU markets increased 36% on the year.

Hong Kong was the leading non-EU export market, with the volume of shipments from the UK up 78% at 13,062 tonnes, while the value rose 105%. Volumes to Ghana, where EBLEX last autumn conducted a trade mission with a group of UK exporters, were up 134% on the year at just over 1,000 tonnes, with the value of those exports increasing 95%.

Jonathan Eckley, EBLEX export marketing executive, said:  “Exports of sheep meat from the UK last year were very encouraging, with significant increases in both volume and value to EU and non-EU markets. With shipments to non-EU markets part of EBLEX’s ongoing export strategy, the figures for trade with Hong Kong and Ghana were particularly pleasing.

“Scandinavia is another high-value market, with Norway being the notable success story in 2013. Shipments to Norway were up 25%, with the value of those rising 31%. Volumes to Denmark also increased 50%, with a 44% rise in value.

“However, it’s important not to overlook the continuing importance and significance of EU export markets. France remains, by far, our major export destination for sheep meat. Shipments to France, representing 53,814 tonnes, were up 3% on the year, while shipments to Germany and Belgium also recorded higher volumes.

“The overall export story for sheep meat in 2013 was very positive and we will continue to look to develop existing markets and help cultivate new ones as we move forwards this year.”

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