Photo of South Korea continues to drive EU pork exports in October

Bethan Wilkins


AHDB Pork Market Intelligence


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South Korea continues to drive EU pork exports in October

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Following an uplift in exports in September, the EU surpassed itself in October, again primarily because of the continued surge in volumes being shipped to South Korea.

Overall exports of pork were 16% higher year-on-year, at 210,000 tonnes. Prices remain lower than this time last year though, and so value was also up compared with October 2017 but by only 8%, at €458.4 million.

EU pork shipments to South Korea were in excess of 32,000 tonnes, over 10,000 tonnes more than September’s figure and nearly twice the volume exported last October. This represented a substantial 15% of overall EU exports in the month. This growth was possible despite the US also targeting more product into South Korea; reports indicate WH Group has switched volumes from China to South Korea following the tariff hikes placed on US pork by China. Nonetheless, analysis by Gira Foods suggests that the current level of South Korean imports will not be maintained in 2019.


South Korea accounted for approximately half the total increase in exported pork in the month, compared with a year earlier. Other countries, including the Philippines (+40%, at 12,750 tonnes) and China (+2%, at 62,400 tonnes) also contributed to the increase. Volumes to Hong Kong, however, continued to reduce. Year to date exports of pork have now reached 1.77 million tonnes, (+3%) worth €3.95bn (-6%).

EU shipments of offal to Hong Kong also continued to fall, totalling just 16,000 tonnes in October, 30% lower than year earlier levels. However, EU offal exports were still up 2% in the month overall, at 117,500 tonnes. Exports to China have picked up again, with that country taking over 64,000 tonnes in the month, and shipments to Vietnam picked up significantly, reaching almost 7,000 tonnes. The volume of offal exports in the year to date is nonetheless still down 5% at just over 1.03 million tonnes, while value is down 18% at €1.2bn.


Duncan Wyatt, Lead Analyst  0247 647 8856