UK pig meat imports pick up in May

Tuesday, 25 July 2023


Total pork imports for the month of May registered at 68,600 tonnes. This is an increase of nearly 9,300 tonnes (16%) from April’s levels. Imports have increased by 2% (1,600 tonnes) compared with May 2022 levels. Lower availability in the domestic market has been the driving factor behind increased imports.

The main source for UK imports in May was Denmark with 14,100 tonnes, an increase of 3,000 tonnes from April’s levels. This was followed by imports from Germany and the Netherlands at 13,300 tonnes and 12,200 tonnes respectively. The most significant changes on the year were noticed in imports from Denmark and Belgium, which have seen shipped volumes grow by 1,800 tonnes and 1,600 tonnes respectively.

Fresh and frozen pork volumes continue to retain the majority market share in the import basket. In May, they stood at 29,200 tonnes, up 3,800 tonnes from April. Bacon imports stood at 15,300 tonnes while imports of sausages totalled 13,100 tonnes for the month, an increase of 1,900 tonnes and 2,000 tonnes respectively from the previous month. Processed pig meat imports increased by 1,500 tonnes month-on-month to stand at 9,600 tonnes in May.

Year-on-year, fresh and frozen pork volumes increased by 11% (2,800 tonnes). Sausage imports increased by 800 tonnes compared to May last year, while processed pig meat and bacon have declined by 1,400 tonnes and 700 tonnes respectively.

pork imports during May23



Pork exports totalled 24,000 tonnes for the month of May. This is a fall of 1,000 tonnes (4%) compared to April levels. Export volumes declined by 12,000 tonnes (33%) compared to May 2022 levels. Lower availability in the domestic market has been the driving factor behind the decline in exports.

Exports to the EU were reported at 11,300 tonnes, contributing to 47% of the export basket. The EU remains the key destination for fresh and frozen pork exports, receiving 5,100 tonnes in May (a 54% market share). Exports to China were recorded at 8,100 tonnes in May, representing 34% of the total export volumes − 5,500 tonnes of this volume were offal. Exports to China have declined by 2,000 tonnes from April and have fallen by 3,800 tonnes (32%) on the year. Shipments to the EU and the Philippines have increased marginally on the month, by 600 tonnes and 200 tonnes respectively; however they remain below volumes seen this time last year.

Offal exports totalled 11,600 tonnes in May 2023, holding a 49% share of total export volume. Offal exports did decline compared to the previous month by 500 tonnes (4%) and remained behind volumes from May last year, down by 1,900 tonnes (14%). Fresh and frozen pork exports totalled 9,400 tonnes in May 2023, a decline of 700 tonnes from a month ago and a decline of 52% (10,000 tonnes) year-on-year. Processed pork exports increased on both the month and the year, with volumes totalling 1,400 tonnes. Bacon exports increased compared to April, but fell year-on-year; sausages followed the same trend.

pork exports during May23

Image of staff member Soumya Behera

Soumya Behera

Senior Analyst (Dairy)

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