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China continues to drive pork export growth

19th Sep 2019 / By Alistair Driver

Increased demand from China continued to drive growth in UK pork exports over the summer.

Exports of pork, including offal, were up 12% year-on-year in July, topping 30,000 tonnes. This is the highest volume of July pork exports since 2016, while the total value of the trade rose 19%, to £46.9 million. Pig offal exports increased by 15% (+1,000 tonnes) compared to the previous year.

The latest figures also show UK pork exports are up 11% in the first seven months of the year, totalling 214,000 tonnes.

Most of the growth has been in fresh and frozen pork, up 10% in the first seven months, and offal, up 17%, while processed exports have increased by 18%, albeit from a lower base.

july export share

Bacon exports, were down in July, and are now 5% lower in the year to date, although bacon only accounted for 5% of total pork exports in July 2019.

"This increase in exports is due toincreased demand from China, which continues to be the largest destination for UK pig offal exports," AHDB trainee analyst Charlie Reeve said.

Imports down

Meanwhile, imports of fresh/frozen pork dropped by 22% (-20,100 tonnes) year on year in July, following a small increase on the previous month (+600 tonnes). Imports of bacon decreased by 10% (-1,700 tonnes) in July 2019 compared the previous year.

Processed pork saw the largest decline in imports reducing by 57% (11,000 tonnes) compared to July 2018. The HMRC data shows a significant decrease in the amount of processed hams and shoulders imported from Ireland (-8,000 tonnes). However, volumes in July last year were unusually large. Compared to the 5-year average for July, processed pork imports from Ireland were down 37% (-1,900 tonnes).

The total value of UK pig meat (including offal) imports during July was £196.1 million, down almost 5% year-on-year.

july exports