May 25, 2018
EU pork exports down 7% in March
After a 3% rise in February, the EU's pork exports in March declined 8% to 190,300 tonnes compared with the same month last year, AHDB Pork reported, citing the latest data from Eurostat.
Pork export value also fell, by 15% from year-earlier levels, at €432 million (US$506.53 million), helped by a 7% fall in average prices.
Shipments to China, the EU's No. 1 market for pork as of November 2017, fell by 11,000 tonnes in March compared with year-earlier levels, leaving year-to-date volumes down by 27,000 tonnes. This comes at a time when production across the 28-member block is increasing, and in the past China proved to be a valuable outlet for excess supply, according to the pork division of the UK levy body Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.
In China itself, domestic demand struggles to keep pace with a rapid expansion in production. "The ability of the Chinese market to absorb European volumes is likely to be limited for some time to come", AHDB Pork said.
Exports to Hong Kong, the No. 3 market, also fell, by 10,000 tonnes, in March comparted with 2017.
However, exports to Japan (No 2 market), South Korea (No. 4) and the Philippines (No. 5) all gained ground.
Demand from the US (No. 6) was also strong despite increasing production in its own market. Volumes increased 25% (+3,000 tonnes) on year-earlier levels to 13,700 tonnes in March.
Offal exports were also down 8% in March to 107,000 tonnes compared with last year. Value of the trade fell by 22% at €126 million, again helped by lower average unit prices.
The pattern of trade echoed that of the pork market, with China and Hong Kong driving the change, AHDB Pork said, adding that the "impressive" increase in trade to the Philippines had limited impact due to modest volumes.
Offal exports were also lower in March 2018 compared with the previous year. At 107,000 tonnes, volumes were 8% less than year earlier levels, and again, lower average unit prices reduced the value of the trade by 22% at €126 million. The pattern of trade echoed that of the pork market, with China and Hong Kong driving the change. Although in percentage terms the increase in trade to the Philippines was impressive, modest volumes limited its impact overall.