Strong Chinese demand supports EU exports
EU pork exports in June reached almost 139,000 tonnes, 21% higher than a year earlier and a record for the time of year.
EU pork exports in June reached almost 139,000 tonnes, 21% higher than a year earlier and a record for the time of year. The strong performance was driven by shipments to China, which were nearly double their level a year earlier. The Chinese market took over a quarter of EU pork exports for the third straight month, a level which had never previously been reached. Reduced domestic production has led to higher Chinese pork prices and increased demand for imports, with the EU well placed to respond to this, given the weak euro and plentiful supplies. Chinese demand is expected to remain strong for the rest of the year, although this may be tempered by slowing economic growth and recent devaluations of the yuan.
Although China was the main growth driver, there were also increased shipments to South Korea, Australia and a range of smaller markets in Asia and Africa. On the flip side, the ongoing difficulties in Hong Kong were reflected in a halving of sales to that market. Japan and the Philippines also bought less EU pork, although in both cases volumes remained well above those in June 2013. The unit price of exports was only 3% lower than a year before in euro terms (but 20% down in US dollars), so the value of shipments was up 16% year on year, at €325.9 million.
There was a similar picture for pig offal exports, with growth in China dominating, offset by lower shipments to Hong Kong and the Philippines. Again, smaller Asian and African markets performed strongly, contributing to overall growth of 10% on the year. Unit prices were higher than in June 2014, so the value of offal exports rose by 17% to €109.5 million.