Welsh red meat exports hit £250 million for 2022
The value of lamb and beef exports from Wales hit the £250m mark in 2022, according to analysis of HMRC UK trade data by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).
The total value of Welsh Lamb exports last year was was £171.5m.
Exports to the largest European markets – France, Germany and Belgium – were all up on 2021, with the French market alone worth an estimated £77m to Welsh sheep farmers.
The value of beef exports from Wales also jumped by nearly 50 per cent – from £50.9m in 2021 to £75.6m in 2022 – reflecting both increased trade and exchange rate factors.
Significant growth was recorded in exports to France and the Netherlands, as well as some emerging markets such as Japan.
The figures were released as HCC and leading Welsh processing companies completed a week of further promotions for PGI Welsh Lamb in the Middle East to target audiences attending the giant Gulfood trade show in Dubai.
HCC’s Head of Supply Chain Delivery, Jon Parker, said: “These are really encouraging export figures for Welsh red meat and it’s great to see growth in HCC’s priority markets. We’re leading the way as global trade returns to a more normal pattern after the Covid disruption.”
The figures also show emerging markets in the Middle East bounced back after Covid, with increased trade in the foodservice and hospitality sector.
There were particularly notable increases in exports to Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Parker said: “We’re determined to resume the levels of growth that we had been seeing in exports to the Middle East region before Covid, so the recovery into the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait is very promising.”
“It will all help at a time when domestic demand in the UK is less buoyant than it was.”
Elsewhere, there were fewer lamb exports to Hong Kong but sales to North America grew, with the first shipments to the US made towards the end of 2022 and trade to Canada worth over £3m over the year.
Mr Parker added: “With sales in the home market having fallen back from the peaks seen during the Covid years of 2020 and 2021, and British consumers feeling the cost-of-living pinch, industry experts are united in projecting that overseas sales are more important than ever to securing good returns for farmers and processors,”
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Wow, that’s totally worth all the land used up by sheep and not having woodlands and forests instead.
You can’t eat trees.
How can foreigners afford Welsh meat when the majority in Wales cannot?