Irish pork exports at a record level
In the first half of 2015, Ireland exported 79,200 tonnes of pork, up 11% on 2014 to a record level.
The value reached €175.9 million, up just 3% on the year, as the average price fell 7%.Fresh/chilled product exports were up by 23% on the year, as frozen shipments fell back 3%. The overall increase was largely due to increased product availability, with pig slaughterings in Ireland up 8% in the first half of 2015, combined with the weak euro. Import volumes were down 28% on the year, with reduced shipments from the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands. The price differential between the UK and Irish pig prices in the first half of 2015 remained high, at around 25p in sterling terms.
Irish export volumes to the rest of the EU were up 23% on the year to represent two-thirds of all Irish pork exports, up from 60% last year. Shipments to the UK and Germany were up 14% and 60%, respectively. In contrast, exports to non-EU countries were down 7%. This fall came despite shipments to the United States increasing by 38% and volumes to China by 23%. Shipments to South Korea, which were up in the first quarter, fell back in quarter two to end up down 4% for the half year. However, shipments to Japan fell 84% to just 1,000 tonnes, after very strong sales last year. Both the Japanese and South Korean pig industries are recovering from PEDv, reducing import demand, while Japanese pork stocks are also much higher than a year ago. Of the smaller non-EU markets, volumes to Australia were up five-fold to 2,500 tonnes.
Exports of pig offal were up 45% in the first half of the year at 12,000 tonnes. Volumes to the largest market, China were up 38% to 6,000 tonnes. There was also growth to the Philippines and Hong Kong, the next largest markets.