UK exports show strong growth in March
UK exports of fresh/frozen pork grew significantly once again in March, to 19.4 thousand tonnes. This was a 22% increase on the same period a year earlier and compounded the strong start exports have recorded this year to date.
Shipments to China were the predominant cause of this growth, up 72% on a year earlier. Increased sow slaughterings in the UK contributed towards the growth in shipments to Germany (+15%). Although much smaller in absolute volumes, shipments to the United States more than doubled and Philippine shipments were four times greater than the same period a year earlier.
The value of exports also grew in March, to over £21million, which was a 37% increase on a year earlier. This was assisted by the high pig price in China as well as increased volumes of pork exported to high value markets.
Offal exports more than doubled in March, with large increases recorded in shipments to the Asian markets. Chinese exports rose to 3.3 thousand tonnes, while shipments to Hong Kong nearly trebled and levels to the Philippines and South Korea experienced a four-fold increase, albeit from a smaller base. There were also higher exports to some EU countries but these are likely to be for onward movement to Asian markets. Sausage and processed exports fell during March from 2015 levels, although volumes were relatively small.
Imports of pork were also down by 3% over the same period a year earlier. The weakening pound has helped to dampen import volumes. Unit prices remained low, however, with the value of imports down by 13% at £45.9 million. Imports of other pig meat products were also lower.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741