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UK pork exports surge at start of 2019

18th Mar 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The start of 2019 has seen a welcome surge in UK pig meat exports, fuelled by more than £16 million in shipments to non-EU destinations in January alone.

ShipIn 2018, the UK shipped a record 347,000 tonnes of pig meat, worth just under £490m, around the globe – 12,000 tonnes and over £19m up on the previous year, marking a decade of sustained growth.

The latest IHS Maritime & Trade figures showed a rise of more than 40% in the value of exports to non-EU countries January 2019, compared to January 2018, with a 28% year-on-year increase in volume recorded. Trade to the EU remained fairly stable, with volume increasing by 0.36% and value by 3% to more than £24m.

Overall, UK pig meat exports rose by nearly 11% year-on-year to well over 28,000 tonnes, worth just under £41m, up from £35m in January 2018.

China was the UK’s biggest buyer this January, taking 7,800 tonnes of pig meat. China is forecast to import more pig meat this as domestic production is forecast to take a big dip on the nack of the African swine fever outbreak. 

The next biggest desinations were Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, with other top-ranking non-EU customers including Hong Kong, the USA and the Philippines.

Angela Christison, AHDB Pork Strategy Director, said: “This is a fantastic start to the year and while the EU remains a significant and valued customer, this demonstrates the growing importance of non EU countries to pig meat trade."

“British Pork is enjoyed in some 97 countries around the world now and the interest only seems to be growing.”