Positive growth for sheep meat exports

Exports of UK sheep meat were valued at £183.9 million for the first half of 2014, reported Eblex.

The beef and lamb levy board also stated that the volume of sheep meat exports stood at 48,000 tonnes (t) for the same period - the highest level since 1998.

Eblex reported that growth has been driven by demand from outside the European Union which has increased to 106,000t a 36% rise on the same period in 2013.

Peter Hardwick, head of trade development at Eblex, said: “Developing our export trade is a key area of Eblex’s work and the figures for the first half of this year are very positive. It builds on the strong performance of 2013 which saw UK sheep meat exports break the 100,000t barrier for the first time since 1999.

“Increases in exports to the Far East have been particularly encouraging, while other key markets outside the EU included Ghana, Congo and the Ivory Coast in West Africa and Norway and Switzerland in Europe.

“Export values are also up 3%, indicating a strong performance, despite slightly unfavourable trading conditions in terms of currency. A 48% increase in the export of bone-in and boneless cuts has helped achieved this and that’s very significant.

“As such, we will continue to pursue our strategy to help drive export growth and maximise the potential of full carcase utilisation for the industry supply chain.”

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