UK pig meat exports continue to perform strongly

During November 2018, UK exports of fresh/frozen pork continued to record year-on-year growth (+5% or 900 tonnes), reaching 19,500 tonnes.

Exports to China have continued the trend set in the past couple of months, recording an increase of 81% year-on-year, to 4,900 tonnes. Shipments to Germany and Ireland also recorded increases, while declines were recorded for Hong Kong and Denmark.

Average prices were also reported a little higher than year earlier levels, reflecting increasing high value trade with the US. This meant the overall value of fresh/frozen pork shipments was up 7% at £26.4 million.

Looking at pig meat overall (including offal), exports for the month also rose (+3% or 1,000 tonnes), to 31,800 tonnes. There was some switching in products though compared to year earlier levels. Shipments of bacon and processed pork both recorded increases, though offal recorded a decline.

In November, UK imports of fresh/frozen pork were similar to the previous month, at 43,700 tonnes, according to the latest data from HMRC. This is a significant year-on-year rise of 13% (5,000 tonnes). In the month all major suppliers increased shipments, which contributed to this overall growth. EU pig prices were significantly lower than UK prices during the month, encouraging these higher import levels.

The latest Porkwatch data also suggests the percentage of British pork facings in GB retailers was declining around this time.

Imports of sausages and bacon both recorded little change year-on-year, while imports of processed hams increased by 23%, to 14,700 tonnes. Overall, this meant total UK pig meat imports (including offal) rose to 91,300 tonnes, up 9% on the year. However, in value terms this was only a 3% annual increase, totalling £222.3 million.

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