Pork imports and exports up in June

The latest import figures from HMRC show that 30,578 tonnes of fresh/frozen pork was brought into the UK during June. This was 395 tonnes more than in May this year and about 1,200 tonnes more than June 2012, an increase of 4%.

BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly suggested the figures might indicate a slight recovery in the demand for EU pork, which fell after the horsemeat scandal earlier this year. However, imports remained below historic levels.

The two leading sources of imported fresh pork were Denmark and Germany, which supplied 2% and 12% more respectively. The Netherlands and Belgium also raised their exports to the UK, while there were large declines in imports from Ireland and France.

In contrast, cured shipments came down 9% during the month, mainly due to lower supplies from the Dutch and the Danes. Likewise, supplies of processed products were also down, by 2%, mainly due to lower availability from Ireland. In addition, sausage imports fell by 11% mainly on the back of lower Dutch supplies.

The export market again performed strongly with fresh/frozen pork shipments up by 23% (or about 2,400 tonnes) in June at 13,100 tonnes. The growth was mainly driven by significant supplies of fifth-quarter cuts sent to China as all muscle meat, no matter where it taken from, counts toward the fresh/fozen pork total.

Exports to Denmark increased, with the likelihood that the meat was would be re-exported for Asian markets, while Germany was the only key market that reduced its purchases, most likely a result of strong production on its domestic market.

There was also robust demand for pig offal from the Asian markets, up by a 25% compared with June 2012 at 3,500 tonnes.

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