UK retailers stay with domestic pork supplies in May

Pork imports hit their lowest May figure for 13 years, settling 12% below last year’s May total at 27,300 tonnes, according AHDB Pork.

“With consumer demand relatively low, this suggests that retail buyers were able to source more of the pork they required from the increased supplies of UK pigs,” said AHDB Pork, adding that this was despite imported pork being “relatively cheap” at £1.70 per kg.

With the value of imports down 25%, the three main suppliers, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands all sent less pork to the UK, although there were increases from Belgium, Spain and Poland.

Bacon imports also fell by 12%, to 18,400 tonnes, with the largest fall being in Danish supplies. Again, lower prices meant the fall in value terms was even larger.

The story was different for imports of processed products, however, with 3% more sausages coming into the UK in May, alongside an 11% growth in imports of “other processed products”.

Exports

“UK pork exports also declined in May, however, compared with a year earlier, being down 12% at 12,800 tonnes,” said AHDB Pork, citing reported problems with imports to Hong Kong as a reason for shipments to that market being sharply lower.

“This may also have contributed to a drop in exports to Denmark and the Netherlands, potentially for re-export. Trade with Ireland and Germany, however, was higher.”

The total value of exports in May was 20% lower, at £13.3 million, than for the same month last year.

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