Sheep meat exports see strong growth

UK exporters were celebrating breaking the 100,000t barrier on sheep meat shipments, according to recent figures revealed by Eblex.

According to the statistics, collated by HMRC, total shipments during 2013 climbed 9% to 103,176t, with strong growth across all markets, both EU and non-EU.

Exports to non-EU markets showed the largest increases on the year, with volumes up 44% to 17,637t, while values increased by 36%. Hong Kong proved the most lucrative market, with volumes climbing 78% to 13,062t and value up 105%, while Ghana also saw good growth following a trade mission last year. Exports to the African country rose in volume terms by 134% to 1,000t, with the value of those exports up 95%.

Jonathan Eckley, Eblex export marketing executive, said: “Exports of sheep meat from the UK last year were very encouraging, with significant increases in both volume and value to EU and non-EU markets. With shipments to non-EU markets part of Eblex’s ongoing export strategy, the figures for trade with Hong Kong and Ghana were particularly pleasing.

“Scandinavia is another high-value market, with Norway being the notable success story in 2013. Shipments to Norway were up 25%, with the value of those rising 31%. Volumes to Denmark also increased 50%, with a 44% rise in value.”

However, he added that it was important not to overlook the significance of the EU markets, with France remaining the main destination for sheepmeat, and showing growth of 3% in volume to 53,814t. Growth was also recorded in the German and Belgian markets.

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