Non-EU sheep meat exports hit record high

UK sheep meat export volumes to non-EU markets in the first quarter of 2014 have reached record levels, according to Eblex.

With West Africa and the Far East the leading destinations, shipments to non-EU markets were up 53% on the same period last year at 5,430 tonnes. Accounting for more than 75% of the UK’s non-EU trade, Hong Kong is now the UK’s second-largest sheep meat export destination, with only the French importing more. West Africa has become increasingly important for UK sheep meat exports, with Ghana now a large importer.

Jonathan Eckley, Eblex export marketing executive, said: “Securing market access to more non-EU markets continues to be one of the key focuses of Eblex’s export team. We’ve experienced a strong growth in trade with non-EU markets since 2008 and the first-quarter figures for 2014 are very encouraging.

“While Hong Kong remains the largest non-EU market for UK sheep meat, we’ve also seen growth in exports to other destinations in the region, such as the Philippines and Singapore. Similarly, Ghana is very much the gateway to West Africa, with volumes also increasing to Congo, the Ivory Coast and Liberia.”

The UK currently has access to 74 non-EU markets for sheep meat from a total of 101 including the EU.

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