UK pork imports grow in March

UK pork imports increased 3% year-on-year for the month of March 2015, HMRC data has revealed.

This is the second monthly rise in imports, prompting Bpex to suggest that the price difference between the UK and the rest of Europe was large enough to tempt buyers.

Higher volumes of pork imports were reported from Denmark, Belgium and Spain, with imports from Poland well up on 2014. Shipments from Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland all dropped during the period.

Bacon imports were down by 8% in March, with lower shipments from Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland, although imports from Germany and Spain increased during the month.

Processed pork imports were up 4% compared to 2014, as a result of higher shipments from Ireland and Poland, while the volume of sausages imported fell 7%, driven by lower volumes from Germany. Imports of offal grew 37% during the month.

Pork exported fell 12% in March, which was attributed to the strong pound. Exports to China and Germany fell 27% and 8% respectively, with the latter becoming the largest destination for UK pork.

Pork exports to Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Hong Kong also dropped for the period. Bacon exports saw a 59% increase while processed pork and sausage exports grew 17% and 9%. Offal exports were down 10% despite increased shipments to China.

Export volumes from the UK in the first three months of the year were down 4% compared with the same period in 2014, with the average unit price of shipments in March dropping to 11%, reducing the total value of UK pork exports to 15.5 million, 22% down year-on-year.

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