EU pork exports higher again in December
Continuing the trend seen throughout 2019, EU pork exports were higher than a year earlier in December.
Although, the volume shipped (252,000 tonnes) was lower than in the previous two months. The year-on-year growth was the result of shipments to China trebling, reaching 176,000 tonnes. There was keen demand from China at the end of 2019, to meet the demand for Chinese New Year.
Supported by the December increase, shipments for the year as a whole were 28% higher than in 2018, at 2.7 million tonnes. China was again the overwhelming growth market for the year, receiving 1.4 million tonnes. A number of other markets suffered double-digit declines as product was diverted to China, including South Korea, the Philippines and the US. China’s significant pork shortage, driven by the ASF crisis, has significantly increased the prices that can be achieved on this market.
The EU does not import much pork, but volumes did increase by 14% in 2019 to nearly 9,000 tonnes. About 30% was sourced from Chile.
Pig offal exports were also up on the year in December, at 90,000 tonnes. A 33% increase in shipments to China (totalling 63,000 tonnes) dominated the overall trend, eclipsing the fact shipments to the Philippines halved.
The volume of pig offal traded across the full year totalled 1.36 million tonnes, still slightly lower than in 2016 (1.39 million tonnes); higher shipments to China and Vietnam were counteracted by a similar fall in exports to Hong Kong.
The EU does not export much processed pig meat product. Nonetheless, for the year as a whole, exports of other pig meat products were up slightly. Cured pig meat volumes were up 5% at 46,000 tonnes, sausage shipments were up 11% at 107,000 tonnes, although other processed products were down 1% at 72,000 tonnes.