Domestic demand for pork in France declines

French pork production was 1.1 million tonnes in the first half of the year. However, increasing exports and lower import levels mean supplies on the domestic market have declined.

French pork exports totalled 236,000 tonnes between January and June, up 8% (+17,000 tonnes) from the same period a year earlier. Amid the ASF crisis, growth was particularly strong to China, which accounted for 16% of the overall trade.

Volumes to this market were 56% higher year-on-year (+14,000 tonnes). This increase eclipsed the impact of lower purchases from the main market, Italy (-7%).

The value of French exports in the first half of the year totalled €449.5 million, up 17% on a year earlier. EU pig prices have risen sharply this year, due to both tighter supplies and strong export demand.

French pork imports in the first half of the year declined by 11% (-17,000 tonnes) on a year earlier, to 137,700 tonnes. Spain is the largest supplier, providing 71% of total imports. Shipments from the country were reduced by 12% (-13,000 tonnes). The value of pork imported amounted to €355.5 million, 7% down from a year earlier.

The price of imported pig meat increased by much less than the average export price, highlighting the rising profitability of the export market this year.

Bethan Wilkins, AHDB’s senior analyst, said that French Kantar Worldpanel figures indicate that demand for pig meat in France is falling.

“In the first half of the year, fresh pork purchases were 3% behind the period in 2018 and charcuterie sales were down by 2%,” she said. “Lower domestic demand would match with the falling pork availability.”

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