UK exports increase again in February
UK exports of fresh and frozen pork increased once again in February, to 17,800 tonnes.
This is a 16% increase on the same point last year. The growth was driven by a rise in shipments to Germany (+50%, largely on the back of increased sow slaughterings), China (+24%) and Ireland (+11%). Shipments to the US kept up the pace seen in January, with 700 tonnes of pork exported in February, more than double the amount recorded last year. Another high value market, Australia, received 230 tonnes, nearly ten times as much as a year earlier.
The value of UK exports also increased on the year by as much as 25%, with exports for February totalling £18.4 million. The overall increase in export value was helped by a rise in the average unit price of 8% year on year. In particular, the price that China paid for UK pig meat increased by 18% February to February, perhaps reflecting the inclusion of more higher-value cuts in the mix.
Exports of offal increased by over half in February, compared to a year earlier, to 6,800 tonnes. There were strong sales to a variety of markets, in both Asia and the EU. In January, a sharp rise in exports of sausages and processed pig meat was recorded. However, as expected, these figures have been revised and year to date exports are now down on a year earlier for both categories.
Imports of fresh and frozen pork in February increased slightly (+1%), compared to a year earlier. The overall increase was driven by rises in shipments from Denmark, Spain, France and Poland, outweighing declines from Germany and the Netherlands. Overall pig meat imports were lower, however, as less bacon and ham was imported. Unit prices for imported pig meat remained down on a year earlier, although by just 3%, so the total value of imports was 5% lower at £146.5 million.
Millie Askew, Analyst
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