Strong start to the year for UK red meat exports… Despite Covid-19
Red meat exports from the UK have enjoyed a good start to the year with shipments already worth £733 million in the first six months – up nearly 3% on the same period last year.
The strong results come during one of the most challenging years on record for red meat exports due to the ongoing difficulties caused by Covid-19.
AHDB international market development director Dr. Phil Hadley said: “Given the exceptional circumstances of this year, these half-yearly figures show that despite Covid-19, our meat sectors have continued to export their products around the world.
There are a number of positive factors for the first half of 2020, including our exports to non-EU countries and while Europe remains our most significant market for red meat exports, it is imperative with Brexit on the horizon, that we continue to take advantage of the opportunities third countries offer.
While both volume and value for beef exports were down on last year, shipments to non-EU countries were up 21% and 46% respectively.
The overall decline in beef shipments was due to Covid-related challenges on the global foodservice market and strong domestic demand.
Among the key third country destinations for UK beef is Japan, which has seen 1,369t of beef shipped so far this year after the UK gained market access in early 2019 – bringing a £4.7 million boost to the sector.
Other regions which have seen a rise in exports include the Philippines with volumes up 51% to 1,958t and Canada where shipments have grown to 968t from a modest 26t last year.
Dr. Hadley added: “While we don’t know what the next six months will bring, we can see that we are in a strong position in regards to our red meat exports and we hope to build on these impressive figures for the remainder of 2020.
“Despite the many restrictions in place due to Covid-19, AHDB continues to work with government and industry bodies to grow our presence in existing markets as well as work to secure access for new markets which will bring a number of opportunities for our producers here in the UK, such as the first shipments of UK beef to the US and China – both of which are expected this year.”