UK imported more pig meat in November
Imports of fresh and frozen pork grew in volume in November, compared to the same period last year, by 13%, although the value over the same period dropped 4% to £55.8 million, highlighting the decreasing prices of pork in the EU.
This trend has been observed since June 2015, barring a slight dip in September. This suggests that, even though prices are falling for UK pork, buyers are looking to source increasing supplies from the EU, where the product is more competitively priced. Most of the year-on-year volume increase came from the three main suppliers, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, while Spanish shipments continued their strong growth of recent months.
Sausages experienced a sharp increase in import volumes from November 2014 (up by 42%), with most of this being attributed to an increase in imports from Germany and Poland. Growth in bacon shipments was a more modest 2%, as lower purchases from Denmark offset increases from the Netherlands and Germany. Although small in scale, offal import volumes continued to grow in November. Whilst the volume imported from the Netherlands decreased, this was counteracted by imports increasing from other suppliers, including Ireland and France.
Overall UK pig meat exports rose in November, driven by growth in both fresh/frozen pork and offal. Both the volume and value of exported pork grew versus the same time period last year (by 17% and 20% respectively), although the volume declined slightly compared to the previous two months. The Chinese export market has continued to grow steadily since July 2015 and the Irish market has been showing growth since the beginning of 2015. These have cushioned the decline in exports seen to the Danish market, likely for re-export, following a spike in September 2015.
Offal exports continue to increase from the same month last year, with volumes having nearly doubled and with value growth of 46% seen from the same period in 2014. Export growth to China remains strong and has increased from the previous month. Chinese shipments accounted for 43% of all offal exports in November 2015. Exports to Hong Kong also continue to grow following a steady start to the year.