October 27, 2018
EU exports of fresh and frozen pork grew over 5% in August to 169,000 tonnes compared with the same month last year, according to the latest data from Eurostat, as reported by AHDB. The value of these exports, however, fell 7% to €362 million (US$411.84 million) due to a 12% fall in achieved export prices.
China has been on focus lately, both for its internal challenges to production and trading relationship with the US. "Compared to the US, the EU is relatively well placed to benefit from any increase in import requirement that China may have", the pork division of the UK levy body Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said.
However, it added, opportunities have not yet materialised, due perhaps to tough competition from Brazilian pork. In August, trade with China fell 5% to 50,000 tonnes, although this still constituted 30% of total EU pork exports.
Exports to Japan, the most important market in terms of value, fell 1% to 29,000 tonnes. Trade with South Korea, however, saw impressive growth as the country took 15,000 tonnes, an increase of 41% year-on-year. Based on industry reports, the trade could be underpinned by strategic buying as a risk management against possible disease outbreak or a global upturn in prices.
In the eight months to August, trade with China was 4% lower at 436,000 tonnes, while volumes to Japan increased 6% to 232,000 tonnes. South Korea received 18% more fresh and frozen pork, at 174,000 tonnes. Exports to Ukraine, although starting from a much lower base, continued to post substantial growth as 14,600 tonnes were shipped to that country during the first eight months, more than six times the amount sent in the same period in 2017.