More pig meat entering UK but exports up too
9% more pork and bacon entered the UK from overseas during July 2014 than a year before. Pork exports were also up by 9% during the month, with growth again led by China.
More pork and bacon entered the UK from overseas during July 2014 than a year before, according to latest figures from HMRC. This, added to increased UK supplies, put downward pressure on pig prices. During the month, 31,500 tonnes of fresh and frozen pork were imported, which was 9% more than last July. Supplies from Denmark, the leading supplier, were up 20% but there was a particularly notable increase in French pork volumes, which were more than double last year’s level. This made France the third largest supplier in the month – it normally ranks fifth or sixth. In contrast, imports from Germany and Ireland were lower on the year. Bacon and ham imports were also up 9% year on year, with growth from all the major suppliers. Processed hams were also shipped in slightly higher volumes but there was a drop in sausage imports on the back of sharp falls in volumes from the Netherlands and Poland.
Pork exports also continued to grow in July, with shipments up by 9%, in line with the trend in the first half of this year. Once again, growth was led by China, with shipments up by more than half compared with July 2013, at 3,000 tonnes. Although much smaller in scale, there was also strong growth in trade with several other Asian markets; the Philippines, Japan and South Korea all took more than twice as much UK pork as last year. In contrast, exports to the rest of the EU were slightly lower than a year before. Lower prices meant that the value of exports during the month was only 4% up on the year, at £18.7 million pounds. Unlike most of the year to date, offal exports were also higher than a year before in July. However, this is mainly because shipments to the EU had already fallen away by this time last year, rather than there being any short-term improvement in trade. China/Hong Kong remains the dominant market, with a 60% share of exports, with shipments up by nearly half.