The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Beef and lamb ex­ports plunge

- BY GEMMA MACKEN­ZIE Business · Agriculture · Industries · HM Revenue and Customs · United Kingdom · Ireland · New Zealand · Australia

Beef and lamb ex­ports were down in April due to on­go­ing Covid-19 re­stric­tions, ac­cord­ing to new anal­y­sis.

Data from HMRC re­veals ex­ports of fresh and frozen UK sheep meat to­talled just over 6,100 tonnes that month – down 2,300 tonnes on April 2019.

Beef ex­ports to­talled 8,500 tonnes – down 1,500 tonnes on the same month in 2019.

How­ever to­tal ex­ports be­tween Jan­uary and April were up nearly 3% on the year to 42,400 tonnes.

“Sup­ply and de­mand dis­rup­tion af­fected trade”

Levy body AHDB said im­port trade was also af­fected by the pan­demic, with beef im­ports down 3,200 tonnes to just un­der 18,000 tonnes, driven largely by a re­duc­tion in meat com­ing across from Ire­land.

Lamb im­ports were back 500 tonnes on the year to 8,300 tonnes, and al­though ship­ments from New Zealand and Ire­land re­duced by 700 and 200 tonnes re­spec­tively, im­ports from Aus­tralia were up by 500 tonnes.

“As the first avail­able data pe­riod fully cov­ered by Covid-19 lock­down mea­sures, the April fig­ures in­di­cate just how se­verely the wide­spread sup­ply and de­mand dis­rup­tion af­fected trade,” said AHDB an­a­lyst Han­nah Clarke.

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