Demand from Europe drives UK beef exports

August figures for UK beef exports show smaller European markets are driving growth, according to beef and lamb levy board Eblex.

According to latest figures from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), exports of beef and veal were up 25% on August last year to 9,000 tonnes. Year-to-date figures show beef and veal exports to be up 5% to 72,300 tonnes.

Smaller markets driving growth included Italy, Belgium, Greece and the Czech Republic, while a fourfold increase in shipments to Hong Kong was reported in the same period. Britain’s largest export market, The Netherlands, also continued to grow.

Jonathan Eckley, Eblex export executive, said: “Developing existing markets and cultivating new ones for quality standard beef and lamb is a key part of Eblex’s export strategy. Latest HMRC figures are very encouraging and illustrate the important role that all markets play in helping the industry realise its full export potential.

“A key point is that we have also seen a further shift away from carcase shipments to higher-priced cuts which represented 74% of total shipments, compared with around 60 per cent four years ago. We will continue to work to create a profitable and sustainable demand for beef and lamb and maximise returns for the industry supply chain through our focus on exporting cuts and making full use of the carcase.”

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