Asian markets bring boost for red meat exports from the UK

Monday, 5 September 2022

The Far East has remained an important destination for UK red meat exports during the first half of the year, adding significant value to the UK red meat sector.

According to the latest data from HMRC, despite an easing of shipments due to a number of challenges on the market, China remains the largest importer of pig meat from the UK, with exports valued at nearly £88 million so far this year.

From January to June, more than half of the 108,294 tonnes of pig meat exported to non-EU countries, was imported by China, followed by the Philippines – which has become the world’s third largest importer of pork from the UK.

Shipments to the Philippines were valued at £25.9 million in the first six months of the year – up 14.8 per cent compared to the same period last year. AHDB led the first commercial mission to the Philippines in May, hosting nine UK exporters in Manilla to facilitate the all-important business to business meetings with leading importers.

And Japan is becoming a valuable export market for the UK’s red meat sector, with shipments of both pig meat and beef significantly up on last year.

After securing market access for beef in 2019, shipments have been steadily increasing, with £9.2 million worth exported in the first six months of 2022 – up from £2.8 million. Pig meat shipments have also increased, with exports worth almost £3.2 million.

AHDB Head of Exports Jonathan Eckley said: “Asian markets continue to prove a hugely valuable market for the UK’s red meat sector, despite many challenges on the global stage this year. While volumes to some countries may be quite low, these markets are vital in addressing the issue of carcase balance and utilising cuts that are less popular here in the UK but attract significant value in the Far East.

“We will continue to work with government and levy payers to open more new markets in the Far East and develop the region further, including attendance at trade shows to showcase the high-quality red meat we produce here in the UK.

“This week, AHDB is with a number of exporters at southeast Asia’s largest food show in Singapore. By growing these markets, our farmers and producers will benefit from the many opportunities overseas trade can offer.”