EU exports grow in August
Exports of fresh and frozen pork grew by over 5% year-on-year in August, to 169,000 tonnes, according to data from Eurostat. However, global markets are under pressure at the moment, so a 12% fall in achieved export prices meant the value of these exports fell by 7% to €362 million.
All eyes are on China at the moment, both for its internal challenges to production and trading relationship with the US. Compared to the US, the EU is relatively well placed to benefit from any increase in import requirement that China may have. However, opportunities have not yet materialised, perhaps due to tough competition from Brazilian product. In August, trade with China fell by 5% to 50,000 tonnes, continuing the longer term trend, although this still constituted 30% of EU exports.
Meanwhile, shipments to Japan, the most important market in terms of value, fell by 1% to 29,000 tonnes. Impressive growth however can be seen in trade with South Korea, which took 15,000 tonnes, an increase of 41% year-on-year. Industry reports suggest the trade could be underpinned by strategic buying as a risk management against possible disease outbreak or a global upturn in prices.
In the year to date, trade with China is 4% lower at 436,000 tonnes, while volumes to Japan have increased by 6% to 232,000 tonnes. South Korea has received 18% more fresh and frozen pork, at 174,000 tonnes. Although starting from a much lower base, exports to Ukraine continue to exhibit substantial growth; 14,600 tonnes have been shipped to that country in the period to the end of August, more than six times the amount sent at the same time in 2017.
Less valuable, but no less important, offal exports from the EU fell by 5% in volume in August, to 103,000 tonnes. In value terms the decline was 19%, at €110 million for the month. The volume of trade so far this year has been 812,000 tonnes, a fall of 4% year-on-year.
Duncan Wyatt, Lead Analyst
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