UK pork imports up again in October
For the third time in four months, UK pork imports rose strongly, compared with a year earlier, in October.
At 33,900 tonnes, shipments were 11% higher than in October 2014. The growth was largely down to a 20% rise in imports from Denmark, mainly made up of bone-in legs, and a surge in purchases from Spain. The latter continues a recent trend, as shipments nearly doubled to 3,100 tonnes. With prices remaining much lower than last year, the value of pork imports was down 1% at £55.7 million.
In contrast, bacon imports were 6% down on the year, at 22,900 tonnes. This was largely down to lower shipments from Denmark, suggesting more pork is being imported for curing in the UK, as appears to have been the case for most of the year. There were small increases from the two other major suppliers, the Netherlands and Germany. Imports of sausages were up on October 2014 but less processed ham was imported.
UK pork exports in October were little changed from a year earlier, at 17,400 tonnes. Increased sales to Ireland, China and the Netherlands were offset by lower volumes sent to countries such as Germany, Denmark and Hong Kong. There were strong sales to the United States, which took three times as much UK pork as in October 2014 and accounted for over 5% of the monthly total. A 5% year-on-year fall in average prices meant that the value of exports was down by a similar amount, at £18.9 million.
Cured and processed pig meat exports were lower, mainly due to reduced sales to Ireland. However, October was another good month for UK pig offal exports, which were nearly 60% higher than a year before, at 5,600 tonnes. Apart from Ireland, all significant markets took more this year, led by an 80% rise in shipments to China.