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Stackyard News Jan 06

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Beef and Lamb Imports Drop as Production Soars

IMPORTS of both beef and lamb showed a marked drop last year as home production showed a sharp increase - of up to 18 per cent in the case of beef.

Figures released today by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) show that during 2005 production of UK beef was up from 709,000 tonnes in the same period in 2004 to 744,000 tonnes while sheep meat production in the same months rose four per cent from 306,000 tonnes to 317,000 tonnes.

Much of the increase in beef production is laid at the door of producers maximising carcase weights while production in Ireland was down and supplies in the rest of Europe were also running at a lower level.

During last year sheep production at home recovered from the drought affected performance of 2004 making an extra 500,000 prime lambs available for the market.

Duncan Sinclair, Economics Manager, said: “After October last year the figures will also have been affected by restrictions placed on the import of Brazilian beef by the EU and, with the change in the OTM regulations this year, we will see further home produced beef available for the market at the expense of imported meat.”

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