December 2020 marked the end of a strong year for EU pork exports, according to the latest data from Eurostat. According to the data, the EU exported 358,100 tonnes of fresh and frozen pork in December 2020, up 32% (86,000 tonnes) compared to the same month in 2019.
China remained responsible for the majority of the uplift. A total of 222,500 tonnes of EU product was shipped there during the month, 34% (56,000 tonnes) more compared to the previous year, said AHDB analyst Hannah Clarke.
EU shipments to other Asian markets also more than doubled to smaller customers – Hong Kong and the Philippines – but from a much lower base compared to China. Shipments to some larger markets declined, Japan (-2%) and South Korea (-10%), although this was not enough to outweigh growth elsewhere.
The EU also increased its pork exports to many other smaller customers, including Australia, New Zealand and the US.
For the year overall, the EU exported just under 3.8 million tonnes of fresh and frozen pork, 25% more than 2019. With average prices remaining more or less unchanged, the value of those exports reached €10.06bn.
Exports of offal also grew from the EU in December, totalling 107,900 tonnes, up 26% year-on-year. However, shipments to China remained virtually unchanged during the month at 57,500 tonnes.
Hong Kong and the Philippines were responsible for most of the year-on-year growth, with the EU sending 3x and 4x the amount sent last December, respectively. For 2020 overall, offal exports totalled 1.4 million tonnes, 4% more than the year before, Ms Clarke added.