Exports of Chilean beef to the UK rose almost fivefold in the first quarter of 2005 compared with the same period last year, according to Meat and Livestock Commission figures.
Chile sent 260 tonnes of chilled and frozen beef to the UK in the first three months of the year, compared with 54 tonnes in 2004.
Overall, Chile’s exports of beef were worth £11m in the first four months of 2005, more than four times their value during the same period last year. In volume terms, Chile’s exports of beef from January to April this year totalled 7,378 tonnes, up from 1,480 tonnes last year.
The country’s agriculture department, Odepa, said the growth in exports reflected the success of a livestock programme launched last summer. Chile has an annual beef quota to the EU of 1,150 tonnes for the year to the end of June. By May 31 it had exported 657 tonnes to the EU.
Besides the UK, other leading destinations for Chilean beef include Germany and Japan.