EU pig meat exports continue to fall

EU pig meat exports in July moved below the level a year earlier for the first time since December 2018, totalling 421,000 tonnes (including offal), according to AHDB.

Despite this, shipments for the first seven months of the year overall were still 10% higher year on year, at 3.5 million tonnes.

Export volumes of fresh/frozen pork were 17% below a year earlier in July, at 259,000 tonnes. Exports to China were lower, now by a substantial 43% to total 105,000 tonnes. AHDB lead analyst Bethan Wilkins said there are no signs of these shipments increasing imminently, although some increase in Chinese import demand may be seen next year.

Shipments to other Far Eastern markets were higher than July 2020, particularly volumes to Japan (+39%) and the Philippines (+103%).

The EU has also been shipping a few thousand tonnes of pork to Chile each month since December 2020, a market that was previously of negligible importance.

Monthly EU pig meat export volumes, 2020, 2021 and 5-year average

EU pig offal exports were also 11% below a year earlier in July, at 103,000 tonnes, with notable declines in shipments to Hong Kong (-82% to 2,200 tonnes) and China (-9% to 60,200 tonnes).

The EU also exports a range of bacon, hams, and sausages, primarily to the UK. “Shipments of these products to the UK bucked the overall trend and were 9% higher than last year, totalling just under 40,000 tonnes,” said Ms Wilkins.

“Despite this, overall shipments of pig meat products to the UK were similar to a year earlier, due to a 9% decline in shipments of fresh/frozen pork.”

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