UK stockpiling frozen beef ahead of Brexit

A pick-up in the UK’s frozen beef imports which continued in November has been attributed to stockpiling in case of Brexit disrupting supplies.

The UK’s Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said latest statistics showed fresh beef imports were 10% lower year-on-year in November, while frozen shipments were 5% higher, continuing a trend seen throughout 2018.

Compared to 2017, in the year to date, 20% more frozen product was imported, and this increase is thought to be in preparation for Brexit, according to the AHDB.

Imports of fresh beef are down 1% year-on-year.

But the marked increase in imports of frozen beef has moved total beef imports 5% ahead of 2017, in the year to date, reaching 264,000 tonnes.

The growth has particularly come from Irish boneless product, according to the AHDB.

However, the November imports of 24,600 tonnes of fresh or frozen beef were 6% lower year-on-year, and around 1,000 tonnes less than in October.

Imports from Ireland were 18,600 tonnes, 1% higher than last November, and constituting 75% of total imports, up from 70% a year ago. Imports were lower in the month from Poland and Germany.

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