Europe heads for further pork surplus as Ukraine imports drop

A drop in pork exports to Ukraine could further exacerbate surplus stocks inside the EU, according to Rabobank.

Ukraine, a net importer of pork from the EU, is expected to take less product because of the conflict with Russia.

Eva Gocsik, an analyst at Rabobank, said: “The direct impact on global pork trade is likely to be limited as Ukraine imports about 55,000t of pork, a relatively small share of global trade”, which the bank puts at 11m tonnes.

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“However, 75% comes from Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands, and given the oversupply situation in Europe and China, any change in Ukraine’s imports would further exacerbate the market imbalance in Europe.”

Ukraine pork trade

Ukraine’s pig population was estimated at just under 6m head in 2021, according to the Ukraine Statistics Office.

The country produced 732,000t of pork in 2021, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

In 2021, Ukraine’s pork exports totalled 9,000t, while imports totalled 55,000t.

Source: Rabobank

Rabobank expects pork production to be affected indirectly through higher feed and energy costs.

UK impact

Hannah Clarke, an analyst at AHDB, said: “Neither Russia nor Ukraine trade red meat directly with the UK, but they do have mutual trade partners for beef and pork. Any impacts from the conflict are therefore likely to be indirect and probably only minimal.

“If Ukrainian pork imports are disrupted, this product would then need to find a new home. However, the volume in question is only about 1% of total EU pork exports, and so would be unlikely to have much of an impact.”