Lower French exports in Q1 while imports grow
In the first quarter of the year, French pork exports totalled 109,600 tonnes, 7% down on the level seen in 2014.
Exports to all major markets fell. Italy remained the largest market for French pork exports, accounting for a quarter of the total. Shipments going there fell 10% in the first three months of the year, while volumes going to the UK and Spain also fell, by 6% and 19% respectively. Higher exports to smaller markets such as Belgium, Bulgaria, the Philippines and Austria, helped to offset some of the falls to the major markets. The Russian ban continues to affect trade, with 4,600 tonnes exported in the first quarter of 2013 falling to 1,500 in 2014 to nothing in 2015. Nevertheless, shipments to non-EU markets were only slightly lower overall. Lower unit prices as a result of high volumes of pork on the European market led to the total value of French exports in the first three months of the year falling to €190.8 million, 12% lower than 2014.
French pork imports in the first quarter of 2015 increased by 1% year on year, to 93,200 tonnes. Spain remained the largest supplier of pork to France, increasing its share of imports to 72%, as shipments increased 3% on a year earlier. This was partially offset by a fall in volumes imported from Germany, the other major supplier, with shipments down 4% year on year. Lower average unit prices led the total value of imports to France in the first three months of the year to fall 7% to €213.6 million.