Irish pig export growth includes increased movement into the UK

Irish pigmeat exports rose by 12% from January to September this year, with 6% more heading into the UK, according to BPEX. New figures for Wales, however, suggest fewer pigs are crossing the border for finishing in England.

At 110,700 tonnes for the nine-month period, there were higher purchases of Irish pork from both EU and non-EU markets.

“There was 14% more pork exported to the EU, with the main destination being the UK, where supplies were up by 6% year on year,” said BPEX. “However, bacon supplies to the UK were down sharply, while processed exports, including sausages, increased.”

The country’s pork exports to non-EU markets rose by 10% year on year, despite the loss of the Russian market, which was Ireland’s leading third country market last year.

Welsh pig numbers

BPEX also reported a strong year-on-year increase in the number of pigs in Wales, quoting the latest government survey results for the year to June 2014.

“The Welsh herd totalled 28,400 head, up 14% on a year earlier,” said BPEX. “However, the breeding herd rose by just 1%, to 4,400 head, so the increase was mainly due to higher numbers of pigs being fed for slaughter.

“As well as some improvement in productivity, this suggests that more Welsh-born pigs are being finished in Wales, rather than crossing the border into England.”

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