The UK enjoyed a 25% rise in income from red meat exports last year, with tight global supplies boosting both demand and prices.
Sales totalled more than £1bn, with beef exports accounting for £437m, sheepmeat £380m and pigmeat £231m. The value of beef exports increased by 32% on the year, as volumes rose by 29% and price by 2%, said a report by AHDB Meat Services. "The increased volume was attributable to a shortage of beef across a number of markets on the continent, resulting from increased exports to non-EU markets."
Sheepmeat exports jumped by 11% in volume and 7% in price, totalling a 19% rise in value, as lower imports from New Zealand resulted in a shortage of product in Europe. Sales of pigmeat rose by 15%, with a 2% hike in price resulting in a 19% increase in value.
"The market conditions which have led to an increase in export values have also resulted in the value of imports increasing." The total value of imports in 2011 increased by 5%, to £2.7bn, with beef accounting for £855m, sheepmeat £411m and pigmeat £1.4bn.