Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK beef exports, according to EBLEX.
Latest data from HMRC revealed that UK beef and veal exports performed well in August, with shipments up 1,800 tonnes, or 25 per cent, on the same period last year at 9,000 tonnes. In the year to date, beef and veal exports are up five per cent year on year at 72,300 tonnes.
While volumes to Ireland and the Netherlands – the UK’s two main export markets for beef – both increased, strong export growth was also reported to smaller markets. These included Italy, Belgium, Greece and the Czech Republic. Further afield, a fourfold increase in shipments to Hong Kong was reported in the same period.
Jonathan Eckley, EBLEX export executive, said: “Developing existing markets and cultivating new ones for quality standard beef and lamb is a key part of EBLEX’s export strategy. Latest HMRC figures are very encouraging and illustrate the important role that all markets play in helping the industry realise its full export potential.
“A key point is that we have also seen a further shift away from carcase shipments to higher-priced cuts which represented 74 per cent of total shipments, compared with around 60 per cent four years ago. We will continue to work to create a profitable and sustainable demand for beef and lamb and maximise returns for the industry supply chain through our focus on exporting cuts and making full use of the carcase.”