EU pork exports increased by more than a quarter, year-on-year, in January, giving the sector “comfortably” its best start to the year on record, according to AHDB Pork.
Sitting at 156,000 tonnes for the month, the EU pork export increase continued to be driven by demand from China, whose January shipments were more than double the level recorded in January 2015.
“Most other Asian markets also took more EU pork this January, with South Korea the only significant exception,” said AHDB Pork. “This indicates that demand remains strong, despite the slowdown in economic growth.”
While EU pork clearly remains competitive, this benefit has come at the expense of a 7% fall in unit prices. The 25%-plus rise in January’s volume, for example, came with a somewhat less impressive 17% growth in value.
“Maintaining good export performance will be vital in supporting EU pig prices, given that internal consumer demand remains subdued,” said AHDB Pork, adding that increased export competition could also be expected from both north and south America.
“However, the strong start (to 2016) can only be a positive sign for the year ahead.”