Bacon drives growth in UK pig meat trade

Wednesday, 25 January 2023


Imports of pork into the UK totalled 70,200 tonnes during November, a month on month increase of 2,600 tonnes (3.8%), and year on year increase of 922 tonnes (1.3%). Overall shipments from the EU were up in November, with Denmark trading the largest volume at 17,200 tonnes, up 14.8% (2,200 tonnes) compared to the previous month. Poland saw the greatest reduction in volumes shipped to the UK month on month, easing 1,000 tonnes (17.0%).

Volumes of fresh/ frozen pork were unchanged on the month, with 27,900 tonnes imported in November, however volumes eased 12.2% on the same month last year. Bacon and sausage imports continued to record growth both on the month and on the year. Sausages saw the greatest uplift on the year in volume terms with an increase of 3,900 tonnes (39%), while bacon increased by 938 tonnes (5.5%).

In the year to date (Jan – Nov), 737,900 tonnes of pork has been imported, an increase of 74,400 tonnes (11.2%) on the same period in 2021. Imports for all categories of pork saw growth, however bacon and sausages saw the greatest uplift, up 22.2% and 24.5% respectively.  


Exports of pork from the UK totalled 28,800 tonnes, a 1.2% (353 tonnes) uplift on October, however back by 8.3% (2,600 tonnes) on November 2021.  The EU accounted for 45.2% (13,000 tonnes) of exports, slightly ahead of October and holding in line with the average for the year. Within the EU, the largest volumes were exported to France which received 2,300 tonnes of pig meat, the majority as fresh/frozen pork (1,555 tonnes).  Outside of the EU-27, 11,100 tonnes of pig meat was exported to China which accounted for 38.4% of November’s trade. More than 7,000 tonnes of offal was exported to China, which indicates how important trade relationships with both the EU and China are for maintaining carcase balance.    

In the year to date (Jan – Nov), 341,400 tonnes of pork has been exported, an increase of 7.1% (22,500 tonnes) on the same period in 2021. All categories except fresh/frozen have recorded year on year growth in volumes. Bacon saw the largest uplift, up 6,207 tonnes (68.8%) compared to the same period in 2021 returning to pre-pandemic levels. Processed pig meat saw the second largest uplift, up an additional 2,400 tonnes (20.2%) on the year. Fresh/frozen pork saw a slight easing year on year, back 0.8% (1,400 tonnes), however remained the largest category with 174,400 tonnes exported in the year to date, accounting for 51.1% of all exported pig meat.

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