Welsh red meat export market remains strong despite lockdown

Latest trade figures from HMRC show that there continues to be a strong export market for Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef, despite the disruption caused by Coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and beyond, according to HCC

UK exports of beef and sheepmeat are down in April 2020 compared with the same month the previous year,. However the total comparison for the first four months of the year show show that beef exports are up 2.8% by volume as against the first four months of 2019, although the value was down slightly from £144million to £131million.

The volume of sheepmeat exports from the UK are down 18% as compared with the bumper export year of 2019, however the figures are broadly in line with the previous year.

The value of exports in the first four months of 2020 was £121.7million, as opposed to £120.2million in 2018 and £127.9million in 2019. Pork exports continue to rise due to demand from China.

HCC data analyst Glesni Phillips. said: “HMRC’s UK trade figures for April mark the height of lockdowns in many countries, and reflect a period when many restaurants and hotels – important markets for beef and lamb from Wales – were closed.

“However, although export volumes are down somewhat as against last year due to the disruption, producers have adapted to changing demand. Lamb and beef from Wales is still being exported into retail and other sectors.

“We are seeing lockdowns being lifted gradually in many countries, which should help the foodservice trade which is so valuable for the Welsh red meat sector. However it’s impossible to predict how quickly levels of hotel and restaurant demand will return to normal.”

“We’re still facing what could be an even greater uncertainty at the end of the year if a trade agreement between the UK and the EU is not agreed, potentially leading to high tariffs on European exports. These figures also highlight that over 90% of the UK’s beef and lamb exports go to the EU.”

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