Increasing volumes of UK pork shipped to smaller Asian markets
An increase in shipments of UK-origin fresh/frozen pork to the Asian destinations of South Korea and the Philippines has been seen so far in 2016, according to data from those two countries. Markets such as these could be key to maintaining total export volumes in 2017, when demand from the dominant non-EU destination, China, is expected to fall back.
Total pork imports to South Korea declined by 2% on the year to 249 thousand tonnes, during the first nine months of 2016. Expanding domestic production has likely influenced this trend. Despite this, imports are expected to grow in 2017 due to current consumer preference for pork as a cheap source of protein in the difficult economic climate. Though the EU holds over half this market, the decline in imports was largely driven by a 3% drop in US shipments. While from a small base, the UK showed the greatest percentage growth in volumes of all importing countries, up 67% on the same period last year to over 2,100 tonnes.
In contrast, the Philippine market has grown by nearly half in volume terms in the first seven months of this year, with 46.7 thousand tonnes of fresh/frozen pork imported. This destination is regarded as a key market of the future, with consumer wealth and pork consumption improving. As with South Korea, the UK showed the most significant growth in shipment volumes. Imports from the UK more than tripled on the January-July period of 2015, to 1.1 thousand tonnes. With the devaluation of sterling since the Brexit vote, further increases in exports might be expected, as UK price competitiveness will have increased in more recent months.
Bethan Wilkins, Trainee Analyst
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