UK pig meat exports higher while imports down in January
UK exports of fresh and frozen pork increased by 17% in January to 16,900 tonnes compared to the same period a year earlier.
This was driven by a doubling in shipments to China. Interestingly, shipments to the US also more than doubled year on year taking its percentage share of UK trade from 2% to 4%. Australia, which in January 2014 took no product from the UK, bought in 170 tonnes of UK pig meat in January this year. The value of UK pig meat also increased, by as much as 23% on the year in January, with exports for the month totalling £17.9 million given an increase in the average export price. The average unit price that the US paid for UK pig meat actually decreased on the year by 4% to £2.94/kg although that for Australian increased by nearly 30% to £2.24/kg. Both are clearly higher valued markets as the overall UK export price only averaged £1.06/kg.
Exports of offal increased by as much as 135% in January compared to a year earlier continuing the strong export performance of recent months with shipments now averaging 7,000 tonnes per month. Exports to China increased by 175% compared to a year earlier while trade with the Philippines was up over four times. Exports of bacon were down 6% on December but still well up on January last year. However, the apparent sharp rise in exports of sausages and processed pig meat needs to be treated with caution and the data subject to revision.
Imports of fresh and frozen pork in January were not only slightly down compared with January 2015 but they were also at their lowest level since May last year. Lower prices have probably contributed to the year on year volume fall in January with reductions of 10 per cent in both sterling and euro and so contributed to the ongoing price pressure on UK producers. Volumes were well up from Denmark, by 16%, but this contrasted with sharp reductions for the Netherlands and Germany. Imports of all other categories with the exception of offal were also lower. Bacon shipments were reduced by a 35% fall for Danish product.
Millie Askew, Analyst
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