EU pig meat exports well down in September

Thursday, 6 January 2022

By Bethan Wilkins

September was another difficult month for EU pig meat exports. The latest figures show that shipments (including offal) declined by 16% compared with the same month the year before, totalling 430,000 tonnes. Of course, export volumes were particularly high in 2020, but as production across the EU has remained robust the drop in export demand has been a challenge for the market.

Looking at fresh/frozen pork alone, volumes were down by around a fifth compared to 2020, totalling 262,000 tonnes. The decline was entirely driven by China, with trade totalling just 90,000 tonnes, not even half of the previous year’s level. This reflects falling Chinese import demand due to increased production there. There was a slight rise in product going to other Asian markets.

Offal exports were also 9% lower at 107,000 tonnes, with noticeably lower volumes to both China (-12% to 60,000 tonnes) and Hong Kong (-86% to 3,000 tonnes). These declines were somewhat offset by increased volumes going to the Philippines (+86% to 11,000 tonnes).

Chart of monthly EU pig meat exports

The year-to-date figures show a different picture, with EU pig meat exports 5% higher than during the corresponding period in 2020 at 4.4 million tonnes. More substantial demand growth from the Philippines earlier in the year, alongside a better trade with China, had previously been supporting volumes. Philippines trade is more than double the year before across this period overall, totalling 228,000 tonnes. China trade is only down by 9% across this same period overall, totalling 2.1 million tonnes.

Looking at the product breakdown, between January and September, fresh/frozen pork has recorded 6% growth overall, while offal trade has only increased by 2%.

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