UK pork exports continued to grow again in May with the total for the month reaching 13,600 tonnes, 17% more than the same month in 2012.
Much of the increase was due to stronger demand from Germany, with shipments 20% higher than 12 month ago.
While still taking significant volumes, China stepped down to fifth place in May, having been the largest market the previous month. Several EU member states also reduced imports, including Ireland and the Netherlands.
Exports of cured pig meat in May increased from the low levels of the past 12 months, while sausage exports grew at a slower rate. In contrast, other processed shipments fell and pig offal exports slowed marginally. Strong offal demand from Asian markets was offset by a large decline in shipments to other EU member states.
Pork imports, meanwhile, almost levelled in May, with a marginal decline compared with a year earlier.
Imports from Denmark were down 4%, but the country remained the primary supplier to the UK. Ireland and France were both smaller suppliers, with imports from both countries down by more than 25%.
The market was somewhat balanced, however, by notable increases from Germany (up 12%) and the Netherlands (up 29%).
Cured meat imports were 13% lower compared with the same month a year earlier, while sausages and other processed products recorded a 13% year-on-year decline.