UK mutton exports increased in July, but were down from the same period in 2021.
According to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), nearly 6,000 t of sheep meat were exported in July.
Breaking down the July data, AHDB analyst Hannah Clarke said: “Almost 6,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen sheepmeat were shipped from the UK, representing an 11% increase on to June, but a decrease of 4% compared to July 2021.
“In terms of value, total July sheepmeat shipments were up 6% year-on-year to £41.5million.
“Month-on-month volumes increased to France, Germany and Belgium, outpacing the drop in shipments to Ireland.
“However, looking at the month’s 4% year-over-year drop in exports, the biggest contributor came from the 17% [-600t] drop in exports to France.
“UK sheepmeat production fell in July, a month marked by exceptional drought and poor grass growth, likely affecting supplies available for export compared to previous years,” Clarke continued. .
“From January to July (inclusive), UK exports of fresh and frozen sheepmeat totaled 41,600t, up 18% year-on-year.
“Shipments to the EU increased by 23% to 39,100 t, with growth to Ireland, France, Germany and Belgium. The total value of these exports reached £283.1m, up 28% year-on-year.
UK sheepmeat imports
In contrast to exports, more fresh and frozen sheep meat continued to enter the UK in July than a year ago, but volumes were down from the previous month.
According to Clarke, 5,500 t of product were imported in July, down 15% from June.
“Shipments down 11% from New Zealand [510t]Ireland by 30% [280t]and Australia by 15% [90t],” she says.
“However, on an annual basis, shipments have increased by 31%. Volumes from New Zealand were 9% [+1,000t] higher, and Irish volumes increased significantly (almost four times, but from a lower base than New Zealand).
“For January-July (inclusive), UK sheepmeat imports totaled 40,400t, up 27% on the same period a year ago. Shipments were higher from the top three suppliers [New Zealand +2,000t; Ireland +4,200t; Australia +2,500t].”