Key Asian pork importers, with the exception of China, experienced relatively modest but important growth during 2016, according to AHDB Pork.
“With Chinese demand ultimately expected to fall back, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea may be increasingly viewed as important outlets for global pork supplies in the coming years,” said AHDB Pork.
“South Korea showed a modest 3% year-on-year growth in pork imports last year, almost reaching 465,000 tonnes. This was largely driven by the latter quarter, as monthly imports were actually back on the year for much of 2016.”
For Japan, pork imports saw a moderate 9% growth on the year, reaching 861,000 tonnes, of which frozen volumes from the EU were up 16% on 2015, with growth particularly strong when prices were low early in the year. This was reportedly attributable to Japanese processors replenishing stock while prices were competitive. As a result, import growth slowed in the subsequent months.
Hong Kong imports, meanwhile, were up 35% on year earlier levels during 2016, almost reaching 343,000 tonnes.
“While starting from a small base, Hong Kong data suggests the UK had some success supplying them with pork during 2016,” said AHDB Pork, noting that volumes received from the UK reportedly doubled on the year, exceeding 4,000 tonnes.