New Brexit checks continued to hamper meat exports in February

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The introduction of new Brexit checks at the start of the year continued to hamper UK meat exports to the EU in February, new trade figures show. 

The Government figures, published on Tuesday, show that overall UK exports to the EU made something of recovery from the slump in January, but volumes remain well below 2020 levels.Total exports from the UK to EU were up 47% on the previous month after a record drop of 42% in January.

After plummeting to just £400m in January, exports of food and live animals recovered to £700m in February, although this remains 29% below the £900m the UK exported to the EU in February 2020.

In January, pork exports to the EU fell by a staggering 84%, amounting to just 2,500 tonnes, a reduction of 13,000 tonnes year on year. As a result, overall pig meat (including offal) shipments fell by nearly a half compared with 2020 to only 15,600 tonnes.

NPA Senior Policy Adviser, Charlie Dewhirst, said: “Obviously it’s encouraging to see exports recover from the dire situation in January but we are still a long way short of previous trade numbers.

“The pandemic will still be affecting export opportunities but there is plenty more work to do to tackle the systemic problems. We need to improve and modernise our trading processes with the EU to help the pig sector recapture the export market and sell our world class produce on the Continent.”



By Alistair Driver / Pig World

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