Asian market growth was a 2014 positive despite EU-28 export fall

Fresh and frozen pork exports from EU-28 declined by 2% in 2014, finishing the year on a total of 1.6 million tonnes, according to BPEX.

Quoting the latest trade figures from Eurostat, the BPEX analysis of the EU-28 export performance for 2014 versus 2013 concludes that the impact of the Russian ban, which began in February last year, resulted in a 95% decrease in EU exports across the year in total.

While the Russian factor contributed to a 3% decline in value of EU-28 pork exports, however, slipping to €3.7 billion, the positive side of the story is that the majority of the former Russian-bound product found alternative markets in Asia.

In December 2014, for example, the top four destinations for EU pork were Asian markets, with a 62% market share.  Similarly, over the year, the top five markets, all in Asia, accounted for 66% of EU exports.

“Consistent, rapid growth has been seen in South Korea partly due to disease affecting its own production,” said BPEX. “China imported slightly less on the year, and Japan overtook it, increasingly choosing EU pork over US product because of a change in price relativity. Exports to Australia also increased significantly on the month and the year.”

There was also positive progress on offal exports, which followed a rising trend, being up 8% on the year to nearly 1.1 million tonnes, with even stronger growth in December.

“The Russian ban appears to have had less of an impact on EU offal exports than on fresh and frozen pork,” said BPEX, adding that Asia readily absorbed larger quantities, some of which was higher in price, increasing the value of offal exports in 2014 to over €1.2 billion.

See full BPEX report

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