A case of under-recording DEFRA figures suggest there has been no beef import surge from Ireland in the past year. Latest Intrastat data for the EU in the MLC's UK Market Survey put October landings from Ireland at 6,210t, significantly less than the 6,628t a year earlier. Beef imports from Ireland in January-October 2001 supposedly fell to 68,448t from 71,301t in the previous corresponding period. As everybody in the imported beef trade knows from recent experience, it has been hard to move in this market without bumping into Irish product since the BSE scare on the Continent. According to Bord Bia, beef shipments to the UK jumped 65% last year, from 130,000t to 200,000t. The figures are not strictly comparable, as the Bord Bia estimates are for carcase weight rather than product weight, but the sharp increase is beyond dispute. "The beef imports are under-recorded in the British official figures so we don't use them for our supply estimates," said MLC beef market economist Duncan Sinclair. But this begs questions about the Intrastat figures for pork and lamb trade. The official figures show imports of both also dropping in the past year, and although reductions would have been logical consequences of the export bans imposed when FMD started, sentiment in the marketplace implies more overseas sourced pork has been looking for buyers. {{MEAT }}

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