UK exports of sheepmeat continue to fall, with exports for the month of May declining by 23% year-on-year.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) noted that exports stood at 4,850t for the month of May - with the majority exported to the EU (95%).

Continuing trade friction between the UK and the EU, the AHDB is saying, is causing the decrease in volumes being exported.

As well as that, high domestic farmgate prices during May will have reduced the competitiveness of British lamb.

Exports of British sheepmeat up to May came to 24,600t- which is back 6,500t year-on-year.

Source: AHDB

UK sheepmeat exports in April fell by 18%

Exports of sheepmeat from the UK for the month of April were also back - by 18% (1,100t) from the same period in 2020.

The AHDB said that total UK sheepmeat exports for April came to 5,250t, with exports to the EU accounting for 87% of this figure.

Imports 'steady' for May

However, imports of sheepmeat to the UK were described as steady by the AHDB.

UK imports during May amounted to 4,700t. However, it's difficult to compare to last year with Covid-19 playing its part in the 'exceptionally low' imports seen.

Looking at total imports up to May, UK imports stood at 23,500t - which is back 19%, or 5,600t on the year.

On top of that, shipping costs are continuing to be at high levels, which is likely reducing the attractiveness of the UK market to New Zealand exporters, the AHDB added.