AHDB reports that UK sheepmeat exports in February increased to 6,300t, which is 1,700t or 37% higher than for the same month last year.

This brings the volume for the first two months of the year up to 10,400t, 2,200t higher than the same period in 2021 when Brexit border controls along with COVID-19 disrupted trade.

UK sheepmeat imports also increased in February, up by 1,900t or 66% to 4,700t, the highest monthly volume since February 2018.

Imports from Ireland accounted for 1,100t of this increase, New Zealand 400t and Australia 300t. This brings total imports for the first two months of 2022 to 9,100t, 2,300t higher than for the same period in 2021.

Traditionally the UK imports focused on lamb legs, which accounted for up to 40% of imports, in the early part of the year but the focus has increasingly switched to boneless lamb cuts according to AHDB, the levy board for England.