EU exports up again in April

Thursday, 18 June 2020

By Bethan Wilkins

EU fresh/frozen pork exports showed the strongest annual growth since January, with a 22% increase in April to 297,000 tonnes.

The increased growth largely stemmed from a sharper increase in exports to China (up 128% or 117,000 tonnes). China also reached a market share of 70% in volume terms. At 209,000 tonnes, volumes shipped were the highest since November, with logistical problems easing as coronavirus restrictions in China abated. The average price of pork shipments to China had also lifted to €2.68/kg, the highest level since January.

As was the case last month, there seems to be a problem with figures for exports to the UK, which show an unrealistically large decline. UK HMRC imports are probably more reliable and suggest that in April, about 31% less pork was imported from the EU. There has been a correction to the EU export figures for March; shipments to the UK are now recorded as 35,000 tonnes, a 15% decline year-on-year.

The increase in EU exports in April, when combined with growth in the previous three months, means the year to date figure shows a 20% increase at 1.14 million tonnes. Value stood at €3.3 billion, nearly 55% higher than last year.

Pig offal exports were up 19% from last April, with volumes at 125,000 tonnes. Shipments to China continued to grow, with 34% (+22,000 tonnes) more pig offal traded. This rise was supported by exports to Hong Kong more than doubling (+10,000 tonnes). However, the uplift was mitigated by an almost total loss of shipments to the Philippines (-7,000 tonnes).

Between January and April, pig offal shipments were up by 9% to 468,000 tonnes and were valued at €687 million, 36% higher than a year earlier.

Bethan Wilkins

Senior Analyst - Red Meat

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