Lower prices not pulling in imports
Despite EU prices remaining well below those in the UK, imports of pig meat were again lower than a year earlier in November. UK pork exports during November were 16% down on the same month in 2013 due to some short-term disruptions.
Despite EU prices remaining well below those in the UK, imports of pig meat were again lower than a year earlier in November. Fresh and frozen pork shipments were down 5% year on year, at 31,400 tonnes, their lowest level in November for six years. The decline was mainly due to reduced volumes from Germany and the Netherlands, although more Danish pork reached the UK. Unit prices were 15% lower than in November 2013, a similar scale to the decline in EU pig prices. Bacon and ham imports also declined, with 10% less entering the UK in November than a year earlier. All three of the major suppliers experienced declines, despite prices also being down by around 15%. Sausage imports were up slightly but this is compared with an unusually low figure in November 2013 and volumes were 11% down on two years before. Imports of processed products such as cooked hams were virtually unchanged from last year.
UK pork exports during November were 16% down on the same month in 2013. This was largely due to some temporary disruptions which were quickly resolved, with trade returning to normal by the end of the month. These affected volumes to most of the major recipients of UK pork exports, although the sow meat trade to Germany was unaffected and shipments were similar to those a year before. With unit prices also significantly lower, the value of pork exports during the month was nearly a quarter lower than in November 2013, totalling £16.2 million. The impact of the disruption on the offal trade was less apparent, with exports virtually identical to November 2013 at 3,400 tonnes. With prices higher, the value of this trade during the month was up 18% year on year at £3.3 million.