Irish sheepmeat exports to the UK up 21% in the first seven months of 2016

The volume of Irish sheepmeat exported to the UK has jumped 21% year-on-year during the first seven months of 2016, recent figures from the AHDB show.

However, despite the overall increase, Irish sheepmeat exports to the UK declined by 12% or 300t during the month of July this year compared to last year.

A weaker Sterling following the Brexit vote is likely to have had a negative impact on export volumes, as it made Irish lamb more expensive to UK buyers.

The UK is a significant market for Irish sheepmeat and any fall off in export volumes could potentially have a negative impact on Irish farm gate prices.

Last year, figures from Bord Bia showed that the UK was the second largest purchaser of Irish product in 2015, accounting for 28% of Irish sheepmeat export volumes.

Source: AHDB
Source: AHDB

Southern Hemisphere countries major players in the UK market

Figures from the AHDB also show that the volume of sheepmeat imported into the UK in July was down 14% year-on-year.

This figure is primarily influenced by a 14% decrease in shipments coming from New Zealand, which has been mainly driven by the shrinking New Zealand sheep flock, while sheepmeat shipments from Australia declined by 16% in July compared to the same time in 2015.

Overall, the AHDB shows that the drop in imports during July had an impact on the total volume of product imported from Australia and New Zealand.

Australia is the main contributor to this trend, with imports back 36% to the end of July 2016. In contrast, despite declining volumes in July, New Zealand imports increased by 3% year-on-year.