UK pig meat exports show strong growth in July

Thursday, 17 September 2020

By Felicity Rusk

In July, UK pig meat exports (including offal) recorded an increase of 23% on the year, the highest annual change recorded since October 2018. Meanwhile, imports continued to track below last year


In July, the UK exported 24,800 tonnes of fresh/frozen pork, 30% more than in the same month last year. This is the largest annual change recorded since May last year. The considerable uplift in shipments suggests that any logistical challenges seen earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic have been resolved.

This uplift was almost solely driven by a rise in shipments to China. Exports of fresh/frozen pork to China reached almost 13,000 tonnes, 116% more (6,900 tonnes) than in the same month in the previous year. Furthermore, this is the highest volume exported in a single month on record.

However, average export prices to the nation continued to fall in July. Prices of fresh/frozen pork averaged £1,376/tonne, £145 less (-10%) less than in the previous month.


Shipments to some other destinations recorded a decline on the year, offsetting some of the growth in volumes to China. Exports to Ireland (-400 tonnes), the Netherlands (-200 tonnes), Denmark (-100 tonnes) and the Philippines (-200 tonnes) recorded year-on-year declines.

Offal exports also recorded an uplift compared to last year, increasing by almost 20%. This was supported by an increase in shipments to China (+1,200 tonnes), Belgium (+400 tonnes) and the Philippines (+300 tonnes).

Overall, in July, UK exports of pig meat and offal totalled £56.1 million, 19% more than in the previous year.


Meanwhile, UK imports of pig meat continued to track below last year in July, with import volumes of fresh/frozen pork down by 21% on the year to total 26,900 tonnes. Declines in shipments from Germany (-1,800 tonnes), Belgium (-1,600 tonnes), Spain (-1,400 tonnes) and the Netherlands (-1,500 tonnes) accounted for the majority of the decline.

Average import prices remained above last year. As such, even with the decline in volumes, the total value of pig meat imports in July only fell by 8% on the year, totalling £190 million.

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