Pork exports from the EU were 28% higher than the previous year, totalling 2.7 million tonnes, up from 2.1 million tonnes in 2018, according to new figures from AHDB Pork.
In addition to this, the volume of pig offal traded across the full year totalled 1.36 million tonnes.
The figures show a significant rise in exports to China, which reported the largest growth, increasing its volume of imported pork to 1.4 million tonnes in 2019.
Bethan Wilkins, an analyst at AHDB Pork, said the rise is related to China is suffering from an ongoing African Swine Fever crisis which continues to drive demand for imported pork in the country.
Pork exports from the EU dipped slightly in the final month of 2019. There was, however, sustained year-on-year growth, as shipments to China trebled in December to meet the demand for pork required for Chinese New Year celebrations.
AHDB Pork reported that number of other markets suffered double-digit declines as product was diverted to China, including South Korea, the Philippines and the US. China’s significant pork shortage, driven by the ASF crisis, has significantly increased the prices that can be achieved on this market.
Notably, the volume of pork imported into the EU increased by 14% on the previous year to nearly 9,000 tonnes, with almost a third coming in from Chile. Also, although overall pork exports from the EU increased, shipments to the Philippines halved.
“The volume of pig offal traded across the full year totalled 1.36 million tonnes, still slightly lower than in 2016 (1.39 million tonnes); higher shipments to China and Vietnam were counteracted by a similar fall in exports to Hong Kong,” Bethan Wilkins added.
“The EU does not export much processed pig meat product. Nonetheless, for the year as a whole, exports of other pig meat products were up slightly. Cured pig meat volumes were up 5% at 46,000 tonnes, sausage shipments were up 11% at 107,000 tonnes, although other processed products were down 1% at 72,000 tonnes.”