China no longer dominating the decline in EU pig meat exports
EU fresh/frozen pork exports remained behind year earlier levels in September, with volumes falling nearly 8% on 2016 levels to 161.6 thousand tonnes. With average unit prices showing little change from the month last year, in value terms the market also declined 7%, to €387 million.
In contrast to previous months, the decline was not dominated by the drop in shipments to China (-6.3 thousand tonnes), reflecting the fact Chinese shipments began to slow at this point in 2016. In fact, all of the EU’s core Asian markets took less, with exports to South Korea in particular recording a 36% decline (-6.8 thousand tonnes) on the year. Nonetheless, partially countering these decreases was some growth in shipments to smaller destinations, suggesting these countries may play an increasing role in the EU export market in the coming months. Pork exports to the US increased by 55% (+ 3.2 thousand tonnes) to 9.1 thousand tonnes, while volumes to the Philippines and Taiwan grew by 28% (+1.6 thousand tonnes) and 27% (0.7 thousand tonnes) respectively.
At 124.1 thousand tonnes, pig offal exports also remained in decline during September, falling 5% year-on-year. In contrast to fresh/frozen, as exports to China occupy over half of the EU pig offal export market, the decline was primarily driven by the drop in demand there. Chinese shipments fell 11% on September 2016 to 67.1 thousand tonnes. Shipments to Hong Kong also fell 10% to 24.6 thousand tonnes, and volumes to the Philippines declined 19% to 6.4 thousand tonnes. However, as for pork there was some growth for traditionally smaller markets for EU offal; Japanese shipments increased 50% (+1.5 thousand tonnes) year-on-year, while South Korea took 39% more (+1.1 thousand tonnes).
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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