Pigmeat exports from EU member states increased by more than a quarter in the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2015, according to AHDB Pork.
Based on the latest figures from the European Commission (EC), all the main export categories were higher, benefitting from a strong Asian market demand.
“Fresh/frozen pork exports to China more than doubled, while sales to Hong Kong and the Philippines were both up by a third,” said AHDB Pork. “Japan and the United States both took around 20% more EU pork than in the same period last year.
“South Korea was the only major market to take significantly less product this year.”
Offal sales to the Asian markets were similarly strong with China buying substantially more pig fat this year. Along with growth to the Philippines, this provided some relief to a part of the market which has been struggling since the Russian ban.
Looked at on a country-by-country basis, all of the EU’s significant exporters experienced year-on-year growth in third country exports during the quarter.
“Spain led the way with shipments up by nearly half, while Germany saw a 31% rise and Denmark’s sales were up 7%,” said AHDB Pork. “It was similar for the EU’s mid-ranking exporters, including the UK, which saw third country volumes rise by more than half, the fastest growth of any member state.”
For the rest of the year, most recent reports suggest export sales will remain strong.
“With supplies being forecast to reduce later in the year, signs that export demand will remain robust could provide some cautious optimism among EU producers,” added AHDB Pork.