Horsemeat scandal hits beef imports

Beef imports were 17% lower year-on-year during March, as the horsemeat scandal took effect.

Frozen beef imports were down almost a third according to HM Revenue & Customs figures, as these were more closely linked with contamination.

Trade with countries most affected by the scandal such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland was considerably down on the year.

However, countries that were not implicated saw smaller falls or even increased volumes. Spain and Brazil in particular were much higher.

UK beef exports were also affected, with overall volumes down 15% on the year.

“While this will have been partly due to lower production [-6%] the evidently robust consumer demand and increased requirements for domestic assured cattle will have meant supplies available for export were lower,” said EBLEX.

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For more on exports see our agricultural commodities exports graphic.

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