UK beef exports have fallen by 11% in 2015, reports the LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission of Northern Ireland).

There was 39,696t of beef exported from the UK up to May 2015 which fell from 44,776t for the same period in 2014.

The LMC says that outside of domestic consumption the EU is the UK’s largest export market and it accounted for 36,733t of beef in the first five months of 2015 which was 92.5% of total beef exports.

Tighter domestic supplies and the strong euro have been cited by the LMC for the reduction in UK beef exports.

The strong sterling means that UK beef is relatively more expensive than beef from other EU countries, this is making it difficult for processors to trade within Eurozone markets, says the LMC.

There is also more manufacturing beef available as a result of the Russian ban, it says, and this is causing increased competition for UK beef on the European market.

It reports that Ireland is the primary destination for UK beef and accounts for 43% of total UK exports to the EU. The majority of this beef is imported form the Republic of Ireland for direct slaughter and returned in carcass form.

There have also been notable declines in the level of exports to some other EU destinations, reports the LMC.

There has been a 45% reduction in the volume of exports to the Netherlands to 8,479t for the first five months of 2015, it says.

Exports to Germany have also fallen by 50% to 780t falling from 1,552t for the same period in 2014. Exports to Spain have followed suit and have reduced to 641t which is a fall of 24% from the same period in 2014.

However the trade to France has remained similar to 2014 levels at 4,180t but this may come under pressure as a result of French farmer unrest, it says.

The LMC also says that the volume of exports to Denmark during the 2015 period have increased by 23 per cent to 496 tonnes.

Along with the increase to Denmark exports to non EU countries have also increased and totalled 2,963t which is an increase of 52% on the same period in 2014.