UK sheep meat imports decline, exports rise in January

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By Rebecca Wright

During January, UK imports of fresh and frozen sheep meat declined by 18% (900 tonnes) year-on-year, to 4,400 tonnes, according to HMRC data.

The volume from New Zealand declined just over 500 tonnes, to 2,000 tonnes. There was some uplift in the volume from Australia, of 50 tonnes, to 900 tonnes. Reports from New Zealand suggest that during February and the start of March there was no significant rise in shipments to the UK.

There was some speculation due to much of China being closed down due to coronavirus that shipments to Europe would increase.

UK exports increased 7% (500 tonnes) year-on-year, to 6,900 tonnes. Shipments to France and Germany both declined, while more sheep meat went to Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy. Exports to Belgium were steady in volume. There was also many small rises to smaller destinations, which once combined have a larger impact on overall volumes. As to be expected, over two thirds of exports were as carcases.

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