An increase in domestic production has led to the first-quarter value of fresh and frozen meat imports into the UK, excluding pork, dropping significantly.
The value of the beef import trade has fallen 23% and sheepmeat is down 9%.Export restrictions into the EU from Latin America have also had an impact.
MLC beef economist Duncan Sinclair said: "We&'re producing more beef domestically since the end to the ban on cow beef entering the food chain.
"As for sheepmeat, strong demand for sheepmeat exports and an increase in the proportion of cuts, as opposed to carcases, exported led to a 24% increase in the value of UK sheepmeat exports in the first quarter of 2006. All of this is good news for UK producers."
The volume of pork imported rose 13% but value was up 9%, reflecting a lower than average EU pig price. And, although the volume of poultry imports rose slightly, the value declined due to avian flu fears.