UK pork imports continued to decline in March with the total 7% down compared with the same month in 2012.
Germany and the Netherlands shipped 1% and 9% more than last year, but this failed to mitigate the impact of a 23% drop from primary supplier Denmark; Irish imports were also down, by 8%.
Tight supplies and higher prices were factors but subdued demand for imported pork, partly due to increased retailer preference for UK-sourced pork, also held the market back. Cured meat imports, including bacon and uncooked ham, were down 16% year on year in March, as were processed products including sausages.
UK exports were generally stronger in March as the amount of pork shipped rose by more than a quarter year-on-year. Shipments to Germany were down 5%, but 2,200t sent to China pushed the total up.
Export growth for offal also continued in March, driven by higher shipments to other EU member states.
In the first three months of 2013 the value of UK pork exports rose by 22% and was worth £53.5 million.