EU producers gain as South Korea imports 24% more pork in 2014

South Korea imported 24% more pork in 2014, with more than 50% of imported products coming from the EU, according to BPEX.

“The reasons behind this increase are attributed to continued depressed domestic production due to poor profitability in 2013, herds suffering from PEDv, which is lingering on, as well as some new FMD cases being confirmed from August to December,” said BPEX.

“However, domestic demand for pork has not faltered and a new declaration that the pork supply chain is now ‘fully traceable’, with individual identification and tracking, confirms investment in the industry is expected to be supported by the consumer.”

The country’s total value of pork imports for 2014 was equivalent to £700million, up over a third on 2013.

“The EU’s market share of pork imports was over 50% for 2014, as South Korea absorbed some product diverted from Russia,” said BPEX.  “Volumes showed a significant increase in the second half of the year, particularly from Germany and Spain, and unit prices were slightly reduced from most EU countries as product needed moving quickly.

“The UK’s contribution also increased, by 3% on the year to 1,850 tonnes. Imports from the US also increased for the year but only by 7% as their own production was also hindered by PEDv, pushing unit prices up. Decreased shipments from Chile and China could be due to some of their pork going to Russia instead.”

Organic trade agreement

Further improvements in European/South Korean trading contact are also in view following the conclusion of a new European Commission/South Korea equivalence agreement on organic trade.

“The organics sector continues to be one of the most dynamic production sectors in EU agriculture, and the Republic of Korea is an important growing market,” said EU farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, adding that the new agreement, announced today, will “cut red tape, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises and therefore make it easier for European producers to export”.

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