UK sup­ply not hit as red meat ex­ports see rise

Mar­ket: QMS anal­y­sis re­veals state of in­dus­try

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FARMING - BY GEMMA MACKENZIE

The do­mes­tic red meat mar­ket re­mains well sup­plied de­spite an in­crease in ex­ports of Scot­tish beef and lamb.

Anal­y­sis by Qual­ity Meat Scot­land ( QMS) re­veals ex­ports of fresh and frozen Scot­tish beef were up 18% be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust this year, while sheep­meat ex­ports were up 20% in the same pe­riod.

QMS di­rec­tor of eco­nomic ser­vices, Stu­art Ash­worth, said in­creased ex­port sales had been achieved by trad­ing at a

lower price – beef and lamb ex­ports only grew in value by 3% and 8% re­spec­tively.

“The Euro­pean mar­ket still dom­i­nates with 82% of beef and 96% of sheep­meat go­ing to Europe,” said Mr Ash­worth.

“How­ever, the av­er­age price per tonne of beef sold to Europe was higher than the value sold out­side Europe. For sheep­meat, the price per tonne was lit­tle dif­fer­ent be­tween Europe and the rest of the world.”

He said UK cus­toms data re­veals a de­cline in im­ports dur­ing the same pe­riod – beef im­ports were

down 11%, while sheep­meat im­ports re­duced by 18%.

“While the av­er­age price per tonne of sheep­meat im­ported grew 1%, the beef that was im­ported had an av­er­age price 3% lower than in 2018,” added Mr Ash­worth.

He said Ire­land ac­counted for the bulk of beef im­ports at 80%, how­ever im­ports fell 6% in the past year.

In the sheep mar­ket, Mr Ash­worth said the main global ex­porter, New Zealand, had sent 23% less sheep­meat to the UK than it did in 2018.

“Ad­just­ing the vol­ume of beef and sheep­meat pro­duced in UK abat­toirs for change in trade pat­terns sug­gests 3% less beef and 2% less sheep­meat has been avail­able for use in the UK mar­ket so far this year,” said Mr Ash­worth.

“While this may sug­gest that pro­ducer prices should have strength­ened, the fact that ex­port prices have re­duced in an ef­fort to bal­ance the mar­ket by a need to in­crease ex­ports, points to­wards a very price sen­si­tive and es­sen­tially well sup­plied do­mes­tic mar­ket.”

IN­CREASE: Ex­ports of red meat were driven by a lower price, with the value of what was sold ris­ing marginally

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