Exports to small markets are contributing significantly to the overall export growth of beef, according to red meat levy board Eblex.
Overall beef exports were up in 2014 compared with the previous year – the UK exported 112,055 tonnes (t) in 2014 compared with 105,311t in 2013.
Eblex reported that, among the markets helping to bolster exports are smaller European markets. Exports to Greece were up fourfold and increased to Denmark by 23%. Shipments to Sweden saw a 66% increase on the year, while Portugal took 43% more product in 2014 than 2013.
Jean-Pierre Garnier, Eblex export manager, said: “Cultivating export markets to maximise their potential for the benefit of the entire supply chain is one of the cornerstones of Eblex’s work. As such, the UK volume export figures for beef in 2014 make for very encouraging reading.
“We are competing in a volatile global market where spread of risk plays an increasingly significant role. While the volume of product shipped to smaller European markets isn’t as large as to some of our more established markets, we are clearly making positive strides in the right direction.
“While overall sheep meat exports are reported to be marginally down on the year, we suspect these may ultimately be revised upwards to show positive growth in line with our own intelligence. The figures relating to shipments of sheep meat cuts, however, are encouraging and underpin Eblex’s export strategy.
“We will continue to work towards maximising full carcase utilisation to help develop our export potential as we move forwards in 2015.”