New Zealanders sell more to UK than they had feared Latest hint of surprisingly strong demand for lamb in the UK is a sharp recovery in supplies from New Zealand. Shipments in January and February were about 17% heavier than a year earlier, at more than 31,000t. At first sight this is puzzling, because it had been expected the domestic supply and British export trade disruption due to FMD would keep the market here difficult for the New Zealanders well into the current year. Imports from New Zealand did drop sharply during the crisis, because the ban on British exports threatened to overload the home market while creating shortages on the continent. It now appears trade is returning to something like its normal pattern, partly in response to the easing of restrictions on British exports. However, supplies from New Zealand to the UK were unusually light even before FMD began, so the year-on-year increase recorded for January and February is to some degree an illusion. The latest data show the New Zealanders' shipments to their main Continental markets, Germany, France and Belgium, still much greater than in the first two months of last year. On the other hand, Meat New Zealand points out the recent figures were distorted by the earlier Easter this year shifting the seasonal demand peak. The broad impression is of continuing restrictions on exports from Britain leaving the New Zealanders with abnormally strong demand on the Continent, although this is easing, while the continuing relatively lower slaughter rate within the UK leaves them with a bigger slot in the market here than they had feared. {{MEAT }}