UK pork exports rise in July

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Following year on year declines in June, UK exports of fresh/frozen pork in July pushed ahead of year earlier levels to stand at 17.6 thousand tonnes, an increase of 20% on July 2016.

The rise in volumes shipped combined with a 4% inflation in the average unit price led to the value of UK exports climbing by nearly 25% on the year, to £23.8 million.

Notably, in July, the volume of fresh/frozen pork shipped to Denmark increased by 408% to 2.9 thousand tonnes, which was the major contributor to the overall increase. However, the effects of this change are less prominent than they may appear, as levels returned to those previously recorded for the month before a drop in July 2016. Exports of pork to Ireland and the Netherlands declined by 16% and 5% respectively on the year. However, shipments to Germany increased by 5% year on year, possibly indicating recovery from declines earlier in the year, which were experienced as a result of lower sow slaughterings in the UK.

Shipments to the UK’s largest market China, also increased on the year in July by 7%, to 3.4 thousand tonnes. This is encouraging considering Chinese import demand has steadied somewhat and suggests that demand for UK pork products in China may be relatively stable for now. Furthermore, trade with other Asian markets also increased on the year in July, with exports of pork to Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore and South Korea all growing.

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Offal exports rose by 30% year on year in July to 6.2 thousand tonnes, predominantly as a result of increased shipments to China (+5%) and Hong Kong (+24%), which together account for almost 59% of UK offal exports.

UK imports of fresh/frozen pork products fell by 1% on the year in July, to 36.3 thousand tonnes. The driving factor in this decline was a 12% decrease in Danish shipments, which account for 38% of UK fresh/frozen pork imports. Bacon imports declined by 13% in July compared to year earlier levels, which as in previous months, is partially attributed to falls in shipments from Germany and Denmark. In conjunction with this, imports from the Netherlands increased 21%; making them the UK’s most predominant bacon supplier in July.

Annie Linekar, Trainee Analyst

annie.linekar@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8723