In 2018, the UK shipped a record total of 347,000 tonnes of pig meat, worth just under £490 million, around the globe, according to the latest data from IHS Maritime & Trade.
These figures were 12,000 tonnes and over £19m more than the previous year, marking a decade of sustained growth.
UK pig meat exports have got off to a flying start to 2019, fuelled by more than £16m in shipments to non-EU destinations in January alone.
The IHS Maritime & Trade figures show a rise of more than 40% in the value of exports to countries outside the European bloc and close to 28% in volume for January 2019, compared to January 2018. Trade to the EU remained fairly stable, with volume increasing by 0.36% and value by 3% to more than £24m.
Angela Christison, AHDB Pork’s strategy director, said: “This is a fantastic start to the year and while the EU remains a significant and valued customer, this demonstrates the growing importance of non EU countries to pig meat trade.
“British Pork is enjoyed in some 97 countries around the world now and the interest only seems to be growing.”
China was the UK’s biggest buyer this January, taking 7,800 tonnes of pig meat, followed by Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. Outside the EU, other top-ranking customers were Hong Kong, the USA and the Philippines.