Irish export growth slows but UK shipments advance further
Latest Irish fresh/frozen pork export figures show volumes for the first three quarters of 2016 were up 13% on the previous year, at 139.1 thousand tonnes.
However, this growth has stagnated in recent months, with Q3 volumes actually back 1% on 2015. Growth has largely been driven by the expanding Chinese market but the extent of this growth slowed in quarter three. Shipments to Denmark, likely for re-export to the Far East, were up sharply during the first half of the year but deteriorated to a year-on-year drop of 23% in the latest three months. Meanwhile shipments to Germany, which largely consists of carcases, were below 2015 levels.
At 44,000 tonnes, volumes of Irish pork shipped to the UK were up 6% on the year, up to the end of September. Interestingly, positive growth continued into Q3, despite the devaluation of sterling decreasing the price competitiveness of Irish pork against UK domestic product since July. This was likely influenced by the reduced production of pig meat in the UK.
Irish fresh/frozen pork import volumes were back 11% on 2015 during the first nine months of the year, at 26.7 thousand tonnes. Despite the overall decline, shipments from the UK actually grew during this period. However, the trend in UK shipments was reversed in the third quarter, despite the weak pound reducing unit prices in euro terms. Tightening supplies may have limited UK export potential. Shipments from Spain showed notable growth, while imports from the Netherlands and Denmark decreased significantly.
Bethan Wilkins, Trainee Analyst
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