UK pig meat exports remain strong

UK pork exports recorded another increase in November 2019, with shipments up by 13% compared with the same month a year earlier. At 22,400 tonnes volumes were a record high for the month but a little lower than in October.

Shipments to China reached nearly 10,800 tonnes, more than double a year before, as has been the case since March. There were some different patterns of trade with individual EU markets, but overall there was a reduction in total pork exports to the EU.

The average price of exports continued to escalate during the month. Shipments to China were achieving £2.18/kg on average. For comparison, pork the UK imported during the month was only a little more expensive than this, at £2.36/kg, and this was 30% higher than the year before.

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In contrast, offal exports have come down 6% from November 2018. This largely reflects lower shipments to Hong Kong. It remains plausible that some traditional offal exports are now being exported to China as part of pork shipments. More pork is being drawn to the Chinese market, which requires minimal processing. If less processing is underway, this could reduce the production of offal products on their own.

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During the month, the volume of pork imported to the UK decreased by 22% compared with November 2018. The decline in imports generally escalated as 2019 progressed, with shipments only down 2% for the 11 months overall. Considering the relatively high price of imported pork, imports would be expected to fall back.

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