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More Uruguay Lamb Expected for EU Market

28 October 2014

URUGUAY – More of Uruguay’s European Union quota could be used this year as demand weakens from elsewhere, UK analysts are predicting.

This is as China increasingly looks to New Zealand and Australia for its sheepmeat, says levy board EBLEX.

Last year Uruguay used 2,600 tonnes of its 5,800 tonnes quota, however, imports for the first nine months of this year reached 2,500, meaning Europe returned to being Uruguay’s third biggest sheepmeat customer.

Meanwhile, Chinese buying is 28 per cent lower.

This period saw exports earnings total US$61 million, 15 per cent more than the same period in 2013 after export prices increased 12 per cent on average.

Of this, Brazil bought 43 per cent of volume, the biggest buyer. Value of Brazilian receipts were 19 per cent higher than last year.

Income from EU sales lifted 30 per cent.

The rise in export earnings came despite fewer animals being slaughtered.

An EBLEX spokesperson said: “In the period January to September the sheep kill was down by six per cent to 873,000, masking a very different seasonal pattern to 2013, with slaughterings still well above the levels of 2012.

“In the first quarter of this year throughputs were up 17 per cent, compared with a year earlier but have subsequently been lower.

“From June onwards they were 20 per cent or more lower than at the same time last year."

Lower lamb slaughter, which dropped eight per cent to 431,000, was the reason for the drop, the spokesman added. Male lamb slaughter fell to 80,000 head.

“Ewe slaughterings, on the other hand, were up nine per cent to 286,000 head, indicating a higher culling rate than compared with 2013.”


TheSheepSite News Desk

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