Sharp rise in 2013 sheep-meat exports
Higher product availability helped lead to a 14% year-on-year rise in UK exports of lamb and mutton in the first half of 2013.
The nation exported 47,268 tonnes of lamb and mutton, worth £177 million in the period. Exports to China played a significant role, with shipments up 93% to 5,700 tonnes.
The strength of European exports also contributed to the high figures. Shipments to Germany were up 25% to 5,200 tonnes, while at 2,100 tonnes, exports to the Netherlands saw a 133% increase. France remains the UK's largest export market for lamb and mutton, with 50.4% of shipments heading across the Channel.
Jean-Pierre Garnier, Eblex export manager, said: "To export 47,000 tonnes of lamb in the first half of the year is a fantastic achievement. Traditionally we tend to export more lamb in the autumn than in the first part of the year, particularly to Southern Europe.
"Although the performance may dip a little in the second half of this year, due to low availability and the poor lambing conditions in the spring, it should still make for a sparkling year for exports.
"What is reassuring is the wider spread of markets all performing well, not only France, China, Germany and the Netherlands, but also Belgium, Italy, and Norway."