Strongest UK pork export performance since 2000

UK pork exports in the first half of 2014 reached 94,700 tonnes, 11% up on last year and the strongest first half performance since 2000, according to Pig Market Weekly.

For the fourth time in the first six months of this year, UK pork exports recorded double digit year-on-year growth in June, it’s reported. With the exception of Germany, which was affected by the lower GB sow kill during the month, all significant markets recorded growth.

Unusually, Denmark was the largest market during June, presumably this was product for re-export, given strong Danish export sales to Asian markets. Exports to China/Hong Kong rose by 22% and there was also good growth in some smaller non-EU markets, such as Korea, Cote d’Ivoire and the Philippines.

The June figures mean that total pork exports in the first half of 2014 reached 94,700 tonnes, 11% up on last year and the strongest first half performance since 2000. With lower unit prices, the value of exports during the six months was only 2% higher at £105.9m.

In contrast, the UK imported less pork in June than a year ago, taking much lower shipments from Denmark. Small falls for the two other major suppliers, Germany and the Netherlands, were largely offset by increased volumes from smaller suppliers such as Spain, France and Poland. However, the total volume of pig meat entering the UK market was higher, due to increased imports of bacon/ham, sausages and processed products.  Imports of Danish bacon were noticeably higher, continuing the recent trend of more product being cured there before shipping, rather than being moved as pork, likely for curing in the UK.

Across the first six months of this year, there was growth in imports across all the main pig meat categories. Overall, shipments were up 5% at 420,400 tonnes (shipped weight). As with exports, unit prices were slightly lower, helped by the stronger pound, so the value of pig meat imports rose by just 3%.

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