Mixed picture for EU pork exports
During May, the EU exported 166,900 tonnes of fresh/frozen pork, 2% above year earlier levels.
However, the average export price has decreased by almost 10% on the year, which reflects the year-on-year decline in farmgate prices. Overall, the value of the exports totalled €393.3 million, 8% down on the same month last year.
China remained the largest destination by volume for EU pork, with shipments up 15% on the year, to 51,800 tonnes. China has been a valuable market for supporting carcase balance in recent years and also an outlet for excess supply. Pork prices in China have been going through a challenging period recently though, and therefore if the EU is to export there remaining competitive is key. The price per tonne for exports to China has been declining sharply recently, and dropped 20% on the year in May. Shipments to Hong Kong came under pressure in volume as well as value terms, with shipments down 41% year-on-year, to 5,600 tonnes.
Other key markets in Asia include Japan and South Korea. Exports to Japan recorded a 1% rise on year earlier levels, reaching 29,700 tonnes. Japan was also the highest value market for May, helped by being the only major destination which recorded an increase in price per tonne. Meanwhile shipments to South Korea declined by 3%, to 20,600 tonnes. Following on from last month’s trend, exports to the Philippines declined 22%, to 9,100 tonnes.
Shipments to the US continued to increase strongly, up 15% on the year, to 11,700 tonnes. However, the price per tonne remained significantly below year earlier levels (-23%), which means the value of these shipments totalled €31.6 million, 12% down on the year.
Offal exports declined during May compared to year earlier levels (-9%), standing at 94,300 tonnes. In contrast to the overall trend, offal shipments to China increased by 7% year-on-year, to 54,300 tonnes. However, exports to Hong Kong more than halved, totalling just 8,600 tonnes. Trade destined for Vietnam increased significantly compared to May 2017 (+63%), to 4,600 tonnes. Overall, there were also significant decreases to the value per tonne which means the total value of EU offal exports stood at €102.6 million, 30% below year earlier levels.
Rebecca Oborne, Analyst
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