Exports rise but prices fall for EU pork

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The EU exported 167,800 tonnes of pork during April, 7% higher compared to the same month last year. However, average export prices have fallen by 10% on the year and as such, the overall value of exports was down by 3%, at €381 million.

Exports to China, the EU’s largest destination for pork, increased by 8% compared to year earlier levels, to 51,500 tonnes. China is a valuable outlet for excess supply, however its domestic pork prices are going through a challenging period. Therefore, for the EU to continue to export to this key market, prices need to remain competitive. The price per tonne for shipments to China declined by 18% compared to the previous year in April, and so resulted in the overall value of these exports falling by 11%. Meanwhile, the value of exports to Hong Kong declined by almost a third, with volumes falling 23% year-on-year alongside lower export prices.

Across other areas of Asia, the position is mixed. Exports to Japan and South Korea have increased by 19% (+4,700 tonnes) and 25% (+4,500 tonnes) respectively, with value also rising overall, albeit more modestly. Meanwhile, shipments to the Philippines declined by 25% (-2,800 tonnes), and the value of this trade almost halved.

Volume shipments to the US remained strong in April, increasing by 35% to almost 11,000 tonnes. However, this only translated into a 6% growth in value, reflecting significant price cuts.

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Offal exports have mirrored the direction of pork exports during April. At 93,700 tonnes, volumes were up 4% compared to year earlier levels, with China again driving the increase. Average prices also declined and so the overall value of exports fell by 14%. Interestingly, offal exports to South Korea reportedly decreased by 29% (-1,000 tonnes), contrasting with the rise in shipments of fresh/frozen pork.

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Felicity Rusk, Trainee Analyst

Felicity.Rusk@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8818