UK pig meat trade falls despite higher production

UK exports of fresh/frozen pork fell in June, compared with volumes in both May, and June a year ago, despite UK production having been higher, AHDB analyst Duncan Wyatt has reported.

Mr Wyatt said this could reflect a combination of factors, including an oversupplied EU market, continued logistical difficulties in the supply chain, and concerns over China’s growing pig herd all playing a role.

The UK exported 15,900 tonnes of fresh/frozen pork in June, 24% less than a year ago, and 11% less than in May.

For the year to date, the UK has exported 102,000 tonnes, 18% less than a year ago. However, due to an 11% rise in the average price, the value of these exports has only fallen by 8% year on year to £189m.

However, offal exports increased year on year in June by 41%, to nearly 11,000 tonnes, and the value of offal exports in the year to date has increased by a half, to £81m.

Imports of fresh/frozen pork were also lower year on year, by nearly 8% at 27,400 tonnes in June. Imports of most pig meat products were behind 2020 levels in June, except bacon, which recorded an annual growth of 4% to total 13,500 tonnes.

For the year to date, the UK has imported 335,300 tonnes across all meat products, 13% less than at the same time a year ago.

Mr Wyatt commented: “It wasn’t really until the end of June when EU pig prices started to fall quickly. In the latest week, ending 8 August, the EU average price was 126.5p/kg, 35p lower than its equivalent in the UK.

“These lower prices, combined with the continued gradual reopening of the foodservice market here, suggest increases in future imported volumes could be on the cards. This increase in trade could show in July and August trade data, so look out for further trade updates.”

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