EU pork exports grow in June, in tough global conditions
EU exports of fresh and frozen pork rose by 4% in June compared with a year earlier, at just over 160,000 tonnes, according to data from Eurostat. However, export prices across the region were about 13% lower than a year ago, meaning that the value of June exports was also lower by 10% at €365 million.
Compared with a year earlier, pork exports to China grew by 6% (2,700 tonnes) in June, following months of decline, and exports to Japan picked up by 14% (3,800 tonnes). Japan is a premium market, and average export prices to this country are typically over twice those commanded in China. EU exports to South Korea also grew, by 3% (600 tonnes), and rising volumes to a number of smaller markets (especially Ukraine, Vietnam and Angola) supported the overall performance as well. Year-on-year exports fell to the US (-1,100 tonnes), Philippines (-1,500 tonnes), and Hong Kong (-3,300 tonnes) in June. Deliveries to the Ivory Coast, while a much smaller market, also reportedly declined by 1,400 tonnes compared to June 2017.
In contrast, there was an 8% decline on 2017 for pig offal exports during the month, at just 95,700 tonnes. A significant fall in shipments to Hong Kong (-12,800 tonnes) more than offset increases to most other destinations, even as trade with Vietnam more than doubled (+3,700 tonnes). Average prices were also lower than in June last year, so the value of offal exports fell by over a quarter to €103 million.
In the first half of the year, EU exports of fresh and frozen pork are therefore broadly stable on the year at just over one million tonnes. Exports to China and Hong Kong combined are 10% lower in the year to date, at 376,000 tonnes. However, European exporters have been relatively successful in expanding markets in Japan, South Korea and the US. Global conditions are weighing on prices, and the value of EU pork exports has fallen by 8% year-on-year.
Offal exports in the year to date have fallen slightly, by 4%, to 610,000 tonnes. Again, prices have been lower, together contributing to a fall in overall value to the EU of 19%, at €707 million. The decline in volume terms has been almost entirely driven by falling shipments to Hong Kong. Meanwhile, China remains the most important destination with its share of EU exports increasing to 57%, as direct trade increased 4% year-on-year between January and June. Exports to Japan have also fallen by almost 50% (-9,200 tonnes) in the first half of the year. Japan has been turning to North America for its offal supplies in recent months in what is a very price sensitive market. The EU meanwhile has been finding a home for exports in growing markets like West Africa, South Korea and the Philippines.
Duncan Wyatt, Lead Analyst
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