In July, EU pig meat exports moved clearly below the level a year earlier for the first time since December 2018, totalling 421,000 tonnes (including offal). Nonetheless, shipments for the first seven months of the year overall were still 10% higher year on year, at 3.5 million tonnes.
Looking at fresh/frozen pork alone, volumes were 17% below a year earlier in July, at 259,000 tonnes. Exports to China were again lower, now by a substantial 43% to total 105,000 tonnes. There are no signs of these shipments increasing imminently, although some increase in Chinese import demand may be seen next year.
Shipments to other Far Eastern markets were higher than July 2020, particularly volumes to Japan (+39%) and the Philippines (+103%). The EU has also been shipping a few thousand tonnes of pork to Chile each month since December 2020, a market that was previously of negligible importance. Nonetheless, these developments were not enough to offset the decline in volumes going to China.
By Bethan Wilkins / AHDB