Strong Chinese demand sees UK pig exports rise by 26%

The volume of UK pigmeat exports to China grew by 81% in June 2016 compared with 12 months previously, according to latest figures.

China imported 3,934t of pork from the UK during June, along with 3,244t of offal.

Statistics published by AHDB Pork show the volume of exports to Ireland were also up 28%, while shipments to Denmark, largely for re-export, increased 30% on June 2015 levels.

See also: Pig farmers can lock in prices amid Brexit-uncertainty

Although smaller in absolute volume, higher value US exports also more than doubled.

This means over the first six months of the year the UK exported 166,138t of pigmeat and offal, compared with 131,214t over the same period of 2015 and 129,755t during the first half of 2014.

UK imports

  • Imports of fresh/frozen pork into the UK increased by 29%, to 41,000t, compared with the same period a year earlier. This was predominantly driven by Danish imports more than doubling.
  • Although imports of bacon stayed roughly the same there was a rise in imports of sausages, processed meat and offal.

Overall, UK exports of fresh and frozen pork are up 26% on the year.

The value also increased 30% on June 2015 levels to £45.9m.

EU pork exports

At an EU level, pork exports also reached a record of 236,800t in June 2016 which was 70% up on the same month last year and a little under 10,000t more than the previous high point in April.

As with the UK, sales to China drove the growth, with more than half of total exports destined for that market. Chinese volumes were more than treble their level in June 2015.

Hong Kong and the US also took more than twice as much EU pork as a year earlier.

The latest figures take total exports for the first half of the year to 1.2m tonnes, nearly 60% up on the same period last year.

The value generated was €2.6bn (£2.24bn).

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