Further growth in Irish pork exports
In the first nine months of 2015, Ireland exported 121,600 tonnes of pork, 9% more than the same period in 2014.
The value of Irish pork exports was up by 2% on the year at €271.2 million, while the unit price fell by 7% over the same time. Exports of fresh/chilled pig meat were up by 23% on the year while shipments of frozen product were down by 5%. The overall increase in exports can be attributed to an increase in production, with slaughterings for the first nine months of 2015 up by 7% year on year at 2.4 million head, combined with the weak euro. Volumes of imports were down by 14% on the year with a 47% decrease in shipments from Denmark being the main driver. Movements of pig meat from the UK to Ireland also decreased.
Shipments of fresh and frozen pork from Ireland to the rest of the EU were up 16% compared to the same point last year, which equates to 64% of all Irish pork exports, 4 percentage points higher than last year. Trade to the UK and Germany was up by 11% and 45% respectively, while shipments to Denmark were down by 30%. Despite the overall rise in export volumes, trade to non-EU countries was down by 2% year on year. Nevertheless, shipments to China increased by just under a third at 21,600 tonnes. Over recent years demand for pork in China has increased due to its growing economy and has outweighed domestic supply, in turn increasing import demand. Shipments to the US also increased by 24% year on year while trade to smaller markets such as Australia also increased. However, this was offset by lower sales to other Asian markets, particularly Japan.