EU pig meat exports to China continue to struggle
EU total pig meat exports in May were 19% down on the year at 284.4 thousand tonnes, driven by a sharp fall in fresh/frozen pork shipments to China. However, volumes exported were 9% higher compared to April.
Fresh/frozen pork exports in May were 5% higher than April, but nearly 28% lower than the same month last year, at 163.6 thousand tonnes. However, the value only fell by 12%, to €430 million, as unit prices were higher. In May shipments to China fell by 5% on the month and were a notable 61% lower than May 2016. Furthermore, the value of exports to China fell on the year by 60% to €85.6 million, as the average unit price was only 3% higher. This compares to a 21% rise in the average unit price for EU shipments to all markets.
In contrast pork sales to other Asian markets were strong. In May, Japan remained as the second largest market for the EU, with shipments to Japan rising by 17% on the month and 24% on the year. In euro terms, the value of this trade to Japan increased by nearly 19% on the year. Volume sales to South Korea and Philippines were also up, by 20% and 50% respectively, on May 2016. Shipments to the United States also increased on the year, but by a more modest 15%.
The latest figures take year to date (Jan-May) EU pork export volumes to nearly 890 thousand tonnes, 9% less than in the same period last year. However, in value terms, these exports were over €2.2 billion, 6% more than the same period in 2016.
The EU offal trade performed somewhat better in May with volumes shipped 14.1 thousand tonnes more than in April, at 104.1 thousand tonnes. However, this was 3% lower than the volume shipped in May 2016. Offal trade remains dominated by China and Kong Hong which account for nearly 70% of total EU exports, with shipments rising on the month by 21% and 22% respectively. While Hong Kong was up 11% year-on-year, trade to China actually fell by 22% or nearly 15,000 tonnes. The other major EU market, the Philippines performed well, with trade up on the year by 52%.
Dorian Harris, Analyst
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