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29

2022

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09

UK Pig Meat Trade Shifts Closer to Pre-pandemic Levels

Source:

AHDB

Exports to China have been dropping over the past couple of years as the Chinese pig population increases. Shipments to China stood at 10,100 tonnes in July, down 12% (compared to the same month last year and significantly down on July 2020.

 

Total exports of pig meat from the UK totalled 29,600 tonnes in July, an increase of 5% (1,400 tonnes) compared to June and a 4% (1,100 tonnes) increase year on year. Growth in July has brought the year to date (Jan – Jul) volume to 223,000 tonnes, an increase of 9% (17,500 tonnes) from 2021 and almost level with exports for the same period in 2020.

 

All key product categories have seen year on year growth in volumes shipped so far this year (Jan-Jul). Although growth in fresh/frozen pork has been more muted (up 2%), it still remains the largest product category for exports, with a 53% (117,700 tonnes) market share so far in 2022. Growth in offal exports is up 11% year on year to a record high of 84,300 tonnes, increasing its market share to 38%. After contracting in 2021 in the aftermath of Brexit, export volumes of bacon and processed pork have increased to pre-pandemic volumes whilst sausages returned to 2020 levels.

 

Exports to China have been dropping over the past couple of years as the Chinese pig population increases. Shipments to China stood at 10,100 tonnes in July, down 12% (1,300 tonnes) compared to the same month last year and significantly down on July 2020 by 45% (8,100 tonnes). Year to date exports to China have fallen 30% from their 2020 peak of 102,900 tonnes to 71,900 tonnes for the same period in 2022.

 

However, the global market does appear to be re balancing. Trade lost from China has mainly been absorbed by the EU, bringing its share of exports back to pre-Brexit levels. The Philippines have also increased its share of UK exports from 2% in 2020 to 10% in 2022, showing how important opportunities in Southeast Asia could be to the UK pork sector. New markets have also opened up in Chile with the first shipments of pig meat being sent in August.