Positivity for global UK pig meat exports

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AHDB has just published its latest Brexit report outlining UK prospects for meat and dairy products in the global marketplace.

Of the individual meats it is pig meat that offers the best potential for exports to non-EU markets which represented 32% of UK pig meat trade in 2016.

The success in exploiting the Chinese market is an example of what can be achieved. Market access was granted in 2011 even though negotiations began in 2004. This illustrates that it is not all plain sailing and that there are a number of external challenges to overcome in securing market access.

The analysis assumes that China will offer the best long term potential but that good prospects exist in other markets. This applies especially to lower value cuts and offals to South East and East Asia, and West and South Africa. There are also limited opportunities for premium cuts to North America and Australia/New Zealand. There is also potential to supply high quality food service in China and Japan.

The UK is only 54% self-sufficient in pig meat and so there is also scope for import displacement depending upon the level of external tariffs following Brexit. However, carcase balance issues restrict the scope for this given that the main UK deficit is in loins and legs and so increased production would result in more shoulders and offals to sell.

The comprehensive analysis also includes prospects for beef, sheep meat and dairy products. As well as an overall analysis it includes a description for all these products on individual markets and the challenges that the UK faces if it is to achieve success in increasing its trade.

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Leo Colby, Consultant

leo.colby@ahdb.org.uk