In February 2023, the UK imported 16,100 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef, which is a decrease of 1,500 tonnes (9%) from January’s levels. Most of this decrease was due to a drop in imports from Ireland, possibly due to low domestic retail demand.
At the same time, the cattle kill has decreased in line with forecasts, which may have contributed to recent price increases. Compared to February 2022, UK imports have fallen by 3,400 tonnes (17%), with a decrease in imports from Ireland, the Netherlands, and Poland. Year to date for 2023, imports have totalled 33,800 tonnes, representing a 6% fall from the same period in 2022. Frozen boneless beef imports have seen the largest decline both monthly and yearly, with a total of just under 5,000 tonnes in February.
In contrast, the UK exported 8,800 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef in February 2023, an increase of 300 tonnes (3%) from January’s levels. Exports grew to Ireland, Hong Kong, and France, with the EU-27 being the primary destination for UK beef exports. However, year-on- year, volumes of beef exports have fallen by 2,800 tonnes (24%), with a significant decrease in exports to the EU-27, France, the Netherlands, and Ireland. Boneless fresh beef was the most exported product in February, while fresh carcasses saw the largest fall year-on-year, down almost 1,000 tonnes from February 2022 (42%).