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Steady Growth in UK Sheep Meat Production

03 March 2015

UK - The latest sheep numbers from the June UK livestock survey show the flock at its highest level since 2006, according to the latest outlook from Eblex.

This is due mainly to a larger breeding flock and better seasonal conditions for lambs, writes Donagh Hennessy from Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.

With conditions favourable at tupping, prospects for the lamb crop for this year look positive, however, much will depend on weather conditions at lambing.

Sheep throughput in the UK increased by three per cent in 2014. This growth was mainly seen in the second quarter while, in contrast, throughput slowed in the third quarter due to slower finishing.

UK net production increased by three per cent to reach 298,000 tonnes. Sheep throughput is forecasted to grow by four per cent in 2015, leaving production at over 300,000 tonnes for the first time since 2009.

Sheep meat exports from the UK seem set to show little change.

However, with a weaker euro against the pound, UK exports to the EU may be under some pressure.

With robust demand on a global level and constrained supplies from other major exporters, non EU markets have the potential to grow further in 2015.

UK imports were down by more than six per cent in 2014.

However, some recovery is expected in 2015, with imports forecast to reach around 110,000 tonnes.

There was a marginal rise in UK sheep meat consumption in 2014 with some further recovery anticipated in 2015 to exceed 307,000 tonnes.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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