Irish exports experience strong growth in Q1
Exports of fresh and frozen pork from Ireland recorded strong growth in the first quarter of 2016, when compared with the same period a year earlier.
Volumes grew by 19% to 44.6 thousand tonnes and growth was largely driven by increased shipments to China. It remains the second largest market for Irish pig meat, after the UK. During the first quarter, exports to China grew by 77% to 10.6 thousand tonnes, as Ireland, as with fellow EU member states, capitalised on both growing Chinese demand and the increasing Chinese pig price. Albeit in smaller numbers, exports to Denmark grew significantly, more than doubling compared with Q1 2015. This product is probably intended for re-export, with China the most likely destination.
Import levels decreased modestly in Q1 2016 on the same period a year earlier. While shipment levels from both the UK and Spain were up, by 22% and 49% respectively, decreases in imports from the Netherlands and Denmark subdued overall volumes. Irish producers have been keeping the pressure on major processors against sourcing imported pigment. Coupled with this, the EU/Irish support package for producers has been rolled out, worth £2,600 per herd. These factors might lead to reduced import levels in the future.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741