UK beef imports slowing down

Imports of beef to the UK were up 870 tonnes in April, compared with the same month in 2014, to 21,200 tonnes, according to the ADHB.

After remaining stable in March, imports from Ireland were once again higher, compared to the year earlier up 4%.

However, the ADHB says despite this the overall increase, product coming into the UK was at its lowest level in the year so far.

It also says the increase in imports from some other EU member states, particularly the Netherlands and Poland, also slowed down despite the favourable exchange rate.

Shipments from outside the EU are led by Australia and volumes were 19% back on the year.

It says this is further evidence of the effect that the exchange rate is having on prices, while unchanged in sterling terms, the average unit value in euro terms increased by 12% on the year.

Consequently, it says the UK market remains very attractive to exporters.

UK exports of beef in April stood at 6,780 tonnes, down 12%, compared to April 2014.

Shipments to Ireland were up by over a third, although the ADHB says some of this product may have been sent to Ireland for further processing and then re-exported.

In Britain, reported cattle prices from the AHDB for GB R4L grade steers were averaging at Stg 339.8p/kg (equivalent to 461.98c/kg) for the week ended May 30. Trade was reported as relatively good with strips and rumps performing best.

Bord Bia says some tightening in supplies was also reported in the UK while it is hoped that the good weather will help the trade.

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