UK exports of fresh and frozen sheepmeat staged a slight recovery in January of this year.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said that figures from the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs show that exports of sheepmeat increased by 489t on the same period in 2021.

Volumes during the month totalled just over 4,000t, which was 13% higher than year earlier levels the AHDB said.

However, volumes were significantly below pre-Brexit levels in both January of 2022 and 2021.

UK exports of sheepmeat in January 2022 totalled 4,128t, while 12 months previous in January 2021, sheepmeat exports were recorded at 3,639t.

While in January 2020, just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, exports of UK sheepmeat stood at just over 6,900t.

Source: AHDB


Imports also recorded a rise (+12%) standing just shy of 4,500t the AHDB said. This is a change as in recent years UK import volumes have generally been declining.

Imports in the previous two years (January 2020 and 2021) fell just shy of the 4,000 tonne mark.

Rebecca Wright of the AHDB said: "Leg cuts have largely shown more resilience against the declines than overall sheepmeat imports, demonstrating how important leg imports are to meeting overall UK lamb demand.

"Every year it is estimated the UK imports over 8.5 million leg joints, mostly from New Zealand."

Source: AHDB