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UK Beef Imports Increase in 2014

01 December 2014

UK - Beef imports into the UK during the period January to September 2014 totalled 181,139 tonnes compared to 172,420 tonnes in the corresponding period in 2013.

This accounts for a five per cent increase year on year.

While total beef imports have increased year on year the proportion imported from non EU countries has declined.

Overall imports of beef from non EU countries accounted for 11 per cent of total imports in the 2014 period compared to 14 per cent in the corresponding period in 2013.

In the 2014 period 19,271 tonnes of beef were imported from non EU countries, a 16 per cent reduction on the corresponding period in 2013 when 23,517 tonnes were imported.

There have been notable declines in beef imports to the UK from Uruguay, Brazil, Namibia, Argentina and Botswana year on year.

However the volume imported from Australia and New Zealand has increased over the same period.

Imports from Australia increased to 5,443 tonnes in the 2014 period and accounted for 28 per cent of all non EU imports.

In the corresponding period in 2013 imports from Australia totalled 5,220 tonnes and accounted for 22 per cent of non EU imports.

Meanwhile imports from New Zealand increased to 3,308 tonnes in 2014 compared to 2,674 tonnes in the 2013 period. Imports from New Zealand accounted for 16.7 per cent of non EU imports in the 2014 period compared to 11.4 per cent in the 2013 period.

While UK imports of beef from non-EU countries recorded a decrease between the 2013 and 2014 periods the volume imported from other EU countries recorded an eight per cent increase to 161,418 tonnes.

This accounted for 89 per cent of total beef imports in the 2014 period compared to 86 per cent in the 2013 period.

Ireland continues to be the biggest exporter of beef into the UK market with 127,786 tonnes imported in the first nine months of 2014 as indicated in Figure 1.

This was an increase of 12 per cent on the corresponding period in 2013 and accounted for 79 per cent of imports from EU countries.

The second largest importer of beef from the EU to the UK is the Netherlands with 11,950 tonnes imported in the 2014 period and accounted for seven per cent of imports from EU countries.

Imports from other EU countries account for a small proportion of total beef imports from the EU although there has been some variation year on year at individual country level.

Beef imports from France, Belgium and Denmark have all recorded increases during the 2014 period when compared to year earlier levels while imports from Spain, Italy and Poland have recorded declines year on year.

Imports from Poland accounted for only three per cent of total beef imports from EU countries.

UK beef import chart

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