Photo of UK trade increases in February

Bethan Wilkins


AHDB Pork Market Intelligence


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UK trade increases in February

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In February 2015, according to data from HMRC, the UK imported 7% more pork than the year before, while exports were up 10%.

In February 2015, according to data from HMRC, the UK imported 7% more pork than the year before, with increased shipments from Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium, although imports from Germany were lower. This could be the first sign that imports may finally be starting to rise due to the large difference between UK and EU prices and is the biggest year-on-year increase since last April. Denmark remained the largest supplier of pork to the UK, with approximately 25% of the total, while imports from Poland were significantly higher than in February 2014. The unit price of imports was down 16% on the year as a result of ample supplies across the continent, making the total value of imports 11% lower year on year. Bacon imports remained stable compared with the previous year as increased volumes from Denmark, Germany and Ireland offset a fall in shipments from the Netherlands. Imports of processed pork were 13% higher as a result of a surge of imports from Poland, while sausage volumes rose 8%, with gains seen from Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Poland.


High levels of domestic production led UK pork exports to increase 10%, despite the strength of the pound against the euro. Much of this was due to a rise in shipments to China, which were up by a quarter as the Chinese took advantage of high supplies and low prices of pork from the EU. Exports to the EU were mixed, with sales to Germany, the largest importer of UK pork, falling, while exports to Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark, presumably largely for re-export, all increased despite the gap between prices in the UK and the EU remaining large. However, a fall in unit prices led the value of UK exports to decline by 8% to £14.7 million. Offal exports to China were also up sharply, with export to Hong Kong also increasing. However, a slight decline in the unit value softened the value of fifth quarter exports.