April 12, 2018
Intra-EU pork trade thrived in 2017
The volume of pork traded between EU countries increased by around 3.5% in 2017, compared with year-earlier levels.
Trade between EU member states involves almost three times the amount of pork the EU exports to external markets. This extensive trade means prices in most EU member states follow the same trend, and are broadly in line with one another, AHDB Pork said.
The pork division of the UK levy body Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board cited Eurostat figures indicating that in 2017 fresh/frozen pork exports to non-EU markets decreased 9% (-214,000 tonnes) from the previous year.
While production of pig meat also declined modestly (-33,000 tonnes), overall there was still more pork available for consumption on the EU market in 2017 than 2016. "As such, the increase in intra-EU shipments is unsurprising", AHDB Pork noted.
Data showed that over 80% of the volume exported originated from the six leading exporters, with Germany continuing to dominate and accounting for 24% of shipments, although this was one percentage point less than the previous year. The second-largest exporter, Spain, increased its market share from 16% to 17%.
Within the 28-member bloc, Italy remained as the largest pork importer, receiving 17% of the total volume traded in 2017. However, EU shipments to this country declined year-on-year.
The second-largest importer, Germany, also recorded a modest decline. The overall increase in trade was driven by smaller destinations. Dutch imports from the EU, for instance, increased over 60% (+100,000 tonnes), which accounts for around half of the overall growth in trade. Poland, Romania, the UK and Spain also all recorded pork import growth of between 10,000 and 35,000 tonnes last year.