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UK Sees Sheepmeat Imports Drop

03 September 2014

UK - Lamb and mutton imports into the UK are down for the first half of 2014, write market analysts.

Quantities for the period totalled 58,453 tonnes compared to 63,062 tonnes in the corresponding period in 2013, says the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland in its weekly bulletin. 

This accounts for a 7 per cent decline year on year. Imports from the EU accounted for 11 per cent of the total volume of lamb and mutton imported in to the UK in the first half of 2014 with 6,199 tonnes imported.

This was a two per cent increase on the 6,088 tonnes imported from the EU in the corresponding period in 2013.

Imports of lamb and mutton from ROI during the first half of 2014 totalled 3,553 tonnes and accounted for 57 per cent of total imports from EU countries.

This was similar to year earlier levels when 3,558 tonnes of lamb and mutton were imported into the UK from ROI and accounted for 58 per cent of total EU imports.

IMAGE NAME/DESCRIPTION
Courtesy of the LMC

However, imports from Spain during the 2014 period totalled 500 tonnes compared to 930 tonnes during the first half of 2013.

This decline by 430 tonnes accounts for a 46 per cent decline in the volume imported from Spain year on year.

The decline also reduces the proportion of UK imports of EU lamb and mutton sourced in Spain from 15 per cent in the 2013 period to 8 per cent in the 2014 period.

Meanwhile imports of lamb and mutton from non EU countries during the first half of 2014 totalled 52,253 tonnes compared to 56,974 tonnes in the corresponding period in 2013. This decline by 4,721 tonnes accounts for an 8 per cent decline year on year.

A growing demand for lamb on the world market has resulted in a larger proportion of New Zealand lamb and mutton to be destined for the Chinese market.

This has resulted in a decline in the volumes entering the UK market year on year. During the 2014 period imports from New Zealand accounted for 82 per cent of total non EU imports of lamb and mutton into the UK compared to 89 per cent of imports in the 2013 period.

During the first six months of 2014 43,033 tonnes of lamb and mutton were imported into the UK from New Zealand. This was a 15 per cent decline from the 50,460 tonnes imported during the same period in 2013.

The decline in the volumes of New Zealand lamb and mutton entering the UK market has resulted in an increase in the volumes of lamb imported from other non EU countries.

During the first half of 2014 8,055 tonnes of lamb and mutton were imported into the UK from Australia and accounted for 15 per cent of total non EU imports into the UK market.

During the corresponding period in 2013 Australian imports of lamb and mutton into the UK totalled 5,714 tonnes and accounted for 9 per cent of total non EU imports.

There were also increases in the volume of lamb and mutton imported from Uruguay and Argentina into the UK during the 2014 period when compared to year earlier levels.

However, despite increases in the volumes imported from both countries they accounted for less than one per cent per cent of non EU imports of lamb and mutton into the UK during the first half of 2014.



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