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AHDB European Market Survey


01 June 2012

AHDB European Market Survey - 1 June 2012AHDB European Market Survey - 1 June 2012

French pork exports for January to March 2012 were down two per cent on the previous year, which followed a one per cent increase in 2011.

AHDB

Little change in French pork trade

The average price was up nine per cent in euro terms on the same period 2011.

Exports to the EU in the first quarter of 2012 were unchanged on the year with shipments to Italy, the United Kingdom and Greece down 16 per cent, two per cent and nine per cent respectively. Difficult economic conditions have restricted meat demand in Greece and Italy in particular. In contrast, exports to Belgium and Germany were up 31 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. Pork exports to non-EU countries in January to March 2012 were down nine per cent on the year. Shipments to South Korea and Russia were down one per cent and 23 per cent on the same period last year. Exports to non-EU markets, in particular to Asia, had grown strongly during 2011 to account for a quarter of French trade.

Pork imports in the first three months of 2012 were up two per cent on the year, which followed a one per cent fall overall in 2011. Imports of chilled boneless cuts in the first quarter of 2012 were down seven per cent but this was mainly offset by an 11 per cent increase in chilled bone-in hams and shoulders. The average price of imports was up five per cent on a year earlier given the firmer EU market so far this year. Pork imports from Spain accounted for 75 per cent of the total and were up 10 per cent. Higher production meant that Spanish export availability was higher in the first quarter of 2012 while French production was lower. Of the other significant suppliers only Denmark increased its trade.

Given reduced supplies, live pig exports, which consisted almost entirely of slaughter pigs, were 32 per cent down at 134,000 head with falls in shipments to all major trading partners. For the smaller live import trade shipments in January to March 2012 were down three per cent on the same period last year at 60,000 head, despite an increase in slaughter pig imports from Spain.

Both pig slaughterings and pig meat production in France were down three per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2012. Pork demand though has been resilient in the first quarter 2012 with household purchases up one per cent according to data from Kantar as fresh pork took market share from other meats.

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