EU exports down despite Chinese growth
Pork exports from the EU in May 2015 were 14% lower than a year earlier, totalling 114,700 tonnes.
This was the lowest May figure since 2010 and came as many of the markets which had been supporting exports since the Russian ban reduced their purchases. To some extent, the reduction in shipments could be attributed to a rise in prices compared with recent months, which meant the gap between EU and US prices narrowed. Increased availability of US pork also helped it to regain much of the ground it had lost over the last 18 months. Of the major buyers of EU pork, only China took more this May than in the same month last year, although it did take substantially more.
In euro terms, the average export price this May was less than 1% lower than a year earlier, although there was a much larger fall in US dollar terms, the main currency used in international trade. This meant that exports also fell 14% in value terms, to €273.2 million. The weakening of export markets will certainly have contributed to EU pig prices remaining under pressure in recent months.
There was a similar picture for pig offal, with May shipments down 9% overall but exports to China rising. The fall was largely driven by a halving of trade with Hong Kong, due to logistical difficulties at the port there, which also led to a similar decline in pork shipments. Nevertheless, a rise in unit prices meant that the value of offal shipments was only 1% lower than a year earlier, at €97.5 million.