UK fresh and frozen pork exports in June recorded double-digit growth for the fourth time in the first six months of this year, reaching 15,300t.
As a result, exports for the first half of the year totalled 94,700t, an 11% rise on last year and the strongest first-half performance since 2000.
However, with lower unit prices, the value of exports grew by only 2% to £105.9m.
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“One of the reasons UK pig prices have reached new highs in the past couple of years is the strength of exports,” said a report by Bpex.
“Total pigmeat shipments have risen from a low of 111,000t in 2003 to 259,000t last year – equivalent to 27% of UK production, nearly double the share in 2003.”
With export growth exceeding the rise in production, it had helped to push prices from 105p/kg in 2003 to an average of 165p/kg in 2013, it added.
“Export growth increases the overall demand for UK pigmeat and diversifies the customer base. It also provides markets for products for which there is little domestic demand, thereby increasing the value of the carcass as a whole.”