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Exports spike in red meat to US set to drop

EXPORT WARNING: Beef quota for the US has been filled for the year.

A brief spike in red meat exports to the United States earlier this year is set to fall because America’s beef import quota has been filled for the year.

The latest figures from HMRC show the US imported more than £3m worth of red meat from the UK in January – almost double the amount shipped in the same month last year. Exports of pork rose almost 50% to 592 tonnes and beef shipments increased from 22 to 220 tonnes.

The first commercial shipments of lamb are expected to commence later this year.

However, Susana Morris, the AHDB senior export manager for the Americas, has warned that beef exporters now face a tariff of 26.4%, making it very difficult for the UK to compete on cost.

The AHDB’s export team sees America as a target market and it has been raising the profile of pork, beef and lamb from the UK to buyers across the country.

Last month the levy body organised a meat and cheese tasting event for influencers in Los Angeles.

AHDB held a meat and cheese tasting event in Los Angeles.

Ms Morris said: “This was the first time we have organised a tasting event in the US, and we were delighted with the reception and feedback from our American guests.

“We had a great deal of interest from buyers, chefs and butchers, who were shown cuts of red meat that differ to those in the US. They were also extremely interested in the UK’s high animal welfare standards and our hormone-free meat – all of which makes our red meat appetising to American consumers.”

The following week, AHDB attended the SIAL America food and drink show in Las Vegas which attracted importers from across the US, as well as food service companies, distributors, retailers and wholesalers.

Ms Morris said: “We know that the US presents many opportunities for our red meat exporters, so AHDB is committed to showcasing our products to buyers across the US.

“We will continue to attend trade shows and host our own activities in this market, to help build on these impressive export figures in the year ahead.”

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