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Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Contrasting trends in UK pork exports and imports

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2014 \ December \ Contrasting trends in UK pork exports and imports

Latest figures published by HMRC show a 2% year-on-year increase in October pork exports. 

With UK supplies outstripping demand, UK pork imports in October were 6% lower than last year. This was the lowest October figure since 2009 and came despite the record difference between UK and EU pig prices during the month.

Latest figures published by HMRC show a 2% year-on-year increase in October pork exports, to 17,400 tonnes. In fact, this was a 17% rise compared with the same month in 2012, following a strong performance last October. For the first time in six months, Germany held the position as the UK’s number one market for exports. Volumes exported to Germany increased by 4% compared with a year earlier. However, the amount exported to the EU declined by 5% overall. This came as higher supplies available on the continent reduced import requirements. This meant that China moved into second position as its purchases increased by 12%, which contributed to the overall increase in shipments. Despite the increment in volumes exported, the value of supplies totalled £19.9 million, marginally down on October 2013, as a result of lower export prices.

Total offal exports in October rose by almost 50%, up from 2,300 tonnes in October 2013 to 3,500 in 2014. This stemmed from a significant increase in shipments to China/Hong Kong, which nearly doubled in the latest month. The value of offal exports in October reached £3.2 million, up 78% on the year earlier.

With UK supplies outstripping demand, UK pork imports in October were 6% lower than last year, at 29,900 tonnes. This was the lowest October figure since 2009 and came despite the record difference between UK and EU pig prices during the month. With the exception of Belgium and Ireland, imports from all the key suppliers were lower. Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands account for almost two thirds of the total imports and supplies were down by 2%, 12% and 2% respectively. Given the price drops across the European Union, the value of imports came down by 19% to £55.1 million. Bacon imports fell by 2% in October, compared with a year earlier, largely resulting from a 15% decline in supplies from the Netherlands. Imports of sausages fell by 4% on October 2013, given a 10% fall in volumes from the main supplier (Germany).  Processed pig meat was the only category to record an increase in imports, up 3% year on year, despite a 22% fall in supplies from Ireland.