Germany remains the key market for Welsh lamb
In 2019, British sheepmeat exports have increased by 7.1% in value and 12.6% in volume compared to the previous year and part of that success is assigned to Welsh lamb, according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC). The largest growth in exports has been in two markets which HCC has targeted for promotion of PGI Welsh Lamb – Germany and the Middle East.
A comparison of the volume of sheepmeat exports from the UK in 2018 and 2019 shows a 27% increase in sales to Germany to over 19,000 tonnes and a massive 319% jump in trade with the Middle East – including Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan – to nearly 2,000 tonnes.
As Wales is home to almost a third of the British lamb flock, it is estimated that exports of lamb to Germany were worth £20 million (€23 million) to farmers and processors in Wales, while the value of trade with the newer Middle Eastern markets has risen to around £2.5 million (€2.89 million).
"It will be some weeks yet before we see the complete Wales-only trade statistics, however, we can say with certainty that 2019 was a good year for lamb exports, with the star performers being an established market in Germany, and newer trading destinations in the Middle East,", commented HCC’s Chief Executive Gwyn Howells.
In Germany, Welsh exporters have been focused on food service and catering sectors, while in the Middle East, the task has been to grow beyond our established foothold in the retail market in the UAE, through making new contacts at the annual Gulfood show in February and trade development missions. "This is great news for the sector. Germany continues to be a key market for Welsh Lamb and the Middle East is a growing market for the product with Welsh Lamb now available in two major supermarkets in Qatar. Our trade missions including Gulfood have raised the profile of Welsh meat products abroad and I look forward to further export success in the future as the Wales food brand goes from strength to strength," stated Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.
The Welsh government has secured £1.5 million (€1.7 million) for the Enhanced Export Programme, designed to help the industry to maintain exports through the period of Brexit uncertainty.
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