Coronavirus causes UK beef and lamb export drop in March

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Coronavirus causes UK beef and lamb export drop in March

Related tags: AHDB Beef Lamb, Beef, Lamb, Uk, coronavirus

Exports of beef and lamb from the UK saw either a drop or remained static in March, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the latest Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Beef & Lamb figures, UK exports of fresh and frozen sheep meat fell 40% in volume terms compared to the previous year while values also fell by 21%.

Exports to all the UK’s main export destinations dropped, with shipments to France, the UK’s largest export destination falling 45% year-on-year due to the foodservice lockdown implemented in March while exports to Germany, Belgium and Ireland were down 48%, 21% and 50% respectively.

Imports from New Zealand and Australia rise

It also reported that sheep meat imports increased 16% in volume terms and 34% in value terms. Most of this increased volume came from New Zealand and Australia up 1,100 tonnes and 700 tonnes respectively. Imports from these countries rose because New Zealand and Australia struggled to ship some product to China.

Beef remains static

AHDB also reported that UK exports of fresh and frozen beef were virtually unchanged in volume compared to the year before, although values fell. The total export value for fresh and frozen beef was £32.7 million, down 23% on the year, due to a 23% reduction in the average unit price. Shipments to Ireland, usually the UK’s largest export destination fell 22% on the year during March, also due to the coronavirus lockdown in that country.

It did report that exports to the Netherlands rose 31% to 3,500 tonnes, taking export volumes higher than Ireland. Exports to France and Hong Kong, were down 15% and 48% respectively. Shipments to the Philippines nearly doubled in March, to 550 tonnes.  

The volume of imported beef was down 8% year-on- year in March to 23,500 tonnes.  The value of UK beef imports during March was 4% lower compared to last year, supported by a 4% rise in unit prices. March shipments from the UK’s largest supplier, Ireland, fell by 6% on the year to 19,300 tonnes. Imports from the Netherlands fell 45% to 900 tonnes while imports from Poland increased 9% to 1,500 tonnes.

Related news

Related products

show more

The unique natural anti-oxidant for meat applications

The unique natural anti-oxidant for meat applications

Kancor Ingredients Limited | 28-Feb-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Fresh meat is preferred in bright red colour but is highly prone to oxidation and is colour sensitive to extracts. Kancor’s OxiKan R, a highly refined...

Microbiological safety of raw-fermented sausages

Microbiological safety of raw-fermented sausages

Jungbunzlauer | 18-Feb-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Raw-fermented sausages are prone to the contamination with pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria. Jungbunzlauer gives a new impetus to the exploration...

Related suppliers


Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Follow us


View more