UK beef exports have been hammered down 11 per cent by a weak euro and Russian trade sanctions.These factors have added to already tight UK cattle supplies, according to market analysts at the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC).
The LMC said 2015 beef shipments at the end of May amassed 39,696 tonnes compared to 44,776 tonnes for the same period last year.
Europe remains the biggest buyer of UK beef, accounting for 92.5 per cent of total UK beef exports for the first five months of 2015, although this was down from 96 per cent last year.
Ireland is the single biggest buyer, taking 43 per cent of the Europe’s UK beef, much of which comes from Republic of Ireland cattle slaughtered in Northern Irish plants.
“This is a 17 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2014 when 13,319 tonnes of beef were exported from the UK to ROI,” explained an LMC spokesperson, who added that, while the volume of beef exported from the UK to Ireland has increased, there have been notable declines in the level of exports to some other EU destinations.
“In the first five months of 2015 a total of 8,479 tonnes of beef were exported from the UK to the Netherlands. This is a 45 per cent reduction from the 15,331 tonnes exported in the corresponding period in 2014.”