UK pork exports decrease

Shipments of UK fresh and frozen pork experienced a year-on-year (YOY) fall of 7% to 14,300 tonnes (t) for the month of July, said AHDB Pork. 

A key destination for cull sow meat, Germany, saw a 19% decrease in shipments, while exports to Denmark were back 74% compared to July 2015.

However, exports to countries outside of the continent saw a better performance, with volumes sent to China rising by 62%.

Although exports for the month dropped 7% YOY, overall exports for the year to date were still up 20% on last year.

“The value of these exports was up 11% on the year earlier, largely driven by the value of Chinese shipments more than doubling on the same period last year,” according to AHDB Pork analyst Bethan Wilkins.

“This was supported by the strong pig price currently being recorded in China.”

Offal shipments continued to grow, up 2% to 4,800t YOY. This was in the face of a decrease in volumes to China, which were offset by increased shipments to Hong Kong and the Netherlands – largely for re-export to the Far East.

While offal exports were up, bacon, sausages and processed meats all saw decreases in volumes, which were largely attributed to decreasing demand from Ireland – one of the primary destinations for these products.

Though exports were down for July, imports for fresh and frozen pork continued to increase to 12% for the same month compared to 2015. “Similar to the previous month, this increase was driven by Danish imports, which almost doubled compared to the previous year,” said Wilkins.

“Increases in offal imports were also recorded, particularly from Poland, with volumes increasing by almost 16%, while bacon, sausages and processed meats all reported decreases in import levels.”

There was better news for British pork producers, with their share of retail pork price rising marginally in August. At 36%, this is the highest share they’ve experienced in 18 months.

This was one percentage point higher than both the previous month and the same point last year. Despite a small increase, it is still significantly behind the 40%-plus share of retail prices producers were receiving in 2014.

“The increase in producers share has been assisted by the continued recovery of GB pig prices at a time when the retail price has remained largely stable,” said analyst Dorian Harris. “Pig prices continued to increase into August, with the EU-spec APP [average pig price] up over 7p/kg in August on the previous month, and over 1p on the same period a year earlier. At the same time, the retail prices also rose in August by 1.5% on the previous month, but remained 1.1% below August 2015.”

Harris said the rise in higher prices was largely due to higher prices for loin chops, which were up 4%, and other cuts seeing a 1% increase, with the exception of pork fillet, loin steaks and diced pork. “Over the long term, boneless leg and minced pork both increased by 2% and pork fillet increased by 1%,” explained Harris.

“However, most other cuts fell in price. The biggest fall was with traditional pork sausages which were down by 4%; boneless shoulder, loin steaks, loin chops and diced pork all fell by 3% versus August 2015, while fillet and leg decreased by 2% over the same period.”

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