Falling prices in 2014 bring about increased trading
Both UK imports and exports of pig meat increased in 2014, partly driven by lower prices.
Throughout 2014, the UK imported more pork, bacon, processed pig meat and sausages than in 2013. However, given the unprecedented gap between UK and EU prices, the rise was modest. Pork imports rose by 2% on the year, to 358,200 tonnes, in part due to the lower prices. With an increased share of pork remaining in the EU, as product was diverted from Russia throughout the year, Denmark supplied over a quarter of the total, as Belgium, France and Spain also increased their deliveries. Poland doubled its shipments despite potential ASF fears. German and Dutch contributions, however, were down on the year. Denmark also provided the most bacon in 2014, up 11% on the year, as Dutch shipments dropped by 5%. Sausage imports increased most on the year but still by only 4%, with a notable increase from Ireland. This made it the second largest supplier, while it remains first for other processed products, despite a 5% decrease in this category on the year. Trends in December broadly followed those of the year as a whole, although bacon/ham imports were slightly lower than a year earlier.
Exports of pork from the UK increased by 5% in 2014 to 189,500 tonnes. The value of this trade, however, fell by around £4 million to £214 million. Less than 1% more pork went to the EU, with market growth predominantly in Asia. China took 13% more in 2014, Hong Kong 7% more, as well as larger percentage increases to South Korea and the Philippines. The US market also grew as its own production was constrained by disease. Offal exports were also led by Asian markets, with a third of the 38,400 tonne total going to China and a quarter to Hong Kong, where demand supported prices a third higher than 2013. More than the previous year also went to Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. Cured and processed exports were little changed overall, although fewer sausages and more of other processed products were shipped. Following November’s disruptions, pork exports bounced back in December, with volumes up 13% year on year. Offal exports were also stronger during the month.