Value of pork traded within EU falls
Around 3% more pork was traded between EU Member States in the first half of this year, compared with a year earlier, according to figures from Eurostat.
However, with unit prices around 10% lower than in January-June 2014, at just under €1.90 per kg, the value of the trade was 7% lower. With around 5% more pig meat produced in the EU during the period and exports to non-EU markets only slightly higher, an increase in trade was perhaps inevitable. Nevertheless, the figures do suggest that a higher proportion of output was retained in its country of origin this year, which will have added to price pressure on some markets. It is also worth noting that import figures, which are thought to be slightly less robust, contradict the export trend and actually show a small fall in intra-EU shipments.
Looking at individual countries, the most significant export growth was from Spain and Poland, up 12% and 27% respectively. The former was because of a sharp rise in production, while the latter was due to Polish pork being excluded from several non-EU markets over concerns about ASF. This meant that markets had to be found within the EU, allowing it to overtake France as the sixth largest supplier to other EU countries. Import growth was more widespread but was apparent in most eastern Member States, led, somewhat paradoxically, by Poland. The Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania and Slovakia were other notable growth markets in Eastern Europe.