Intra-EU pork trade steady in 2018

Intra-EU pig meat trade (exclusing offal) in 2018 declined only marginally (-0.5%) on 2017 levels. The trade flows in 2018 totalled around 7.4 million tonnes, based on reported export data.

Germany remains the largest exporter within the EU, commanding a 22% market share in 2018. However, German exports have slipped back slightly, down 5% compared to 2017. Similarly, Spain and the Netherlands have both recorded a decrease in exports to other EU nations.

Meanwhile, Denmark, Poland and Belgium have all increased exports within the EU. Other notable increases come from smaller EU nations, such as Hungary (+19%) and Slovakia (+22%). A number of smaller nations have increased exports within the EU in 2018, tempering the decline in overall trade.

AHDB analyst Tom Forshaw said: “Fresh pork is by far the most traded product within the EU bloc, accounting for around 66% of total pig meat exports (excl. offal). Behind that is frozen pork (12% of total trade)and sausages (10% of total trade).

“In terms of fresh/frozen pork, Italy is the largest importer across the bloc, importing around 1 million tonnes in 2018, and an increase of 4% year-on-year. Poland, the third largest importer of fresh/frozen pork, also increased shipments in 2018, up 6.5% to total 765,000 tonnes. In recent years, Romania has been consistently increasing fresh/frozen pork imports, totalling 290,000 tonnes in 2018, up from 190,000 tonnes back in 2015.”

Going forward, African Swine fever (ASF) in China could affect the European pig market. Industry reports suggest there has been a significant reduction in the Chinese pig herd. This is likely to increase global exports to China over the next year, and number of countries in Europe that already have good market access to China are likely to fulfil some of this demand, supporting the European market through 2019.

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