IRELAND - In the first half of 2015, Ireland exported 79,200 tonnes of pork, up 11 per cent on 2014 to a record level.
The value reached €175.9 million, up just 3 per cent on the year, as the average price fell 7 per cent.
Fresh/chilled product exports were up by 23 per cent on the year, as frozen shipments fell back 3 per cent.
The overall increase was largely due to increased product availability, with pig slaughterings in Ireland up 8 per cent in the first half of 2015, combined with the weak euro. Import volumes were down 28 per cent on the year, with reduced shipments from the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands.
The price differential between the UK and Irish pig prices in the first half of 2015 remained high, at around 25p in sterling terms.
Irish export volumes to the rest of the EU were up 23 per cent on the year to represent two-thirds of all Irish pork exports, up from 60 per cent last year. Shipments to the UK and Germany were up 14 per cent and 60 per cent , respectively.
In contrast, exports to non-EU countries were down 7 per cent. This fall came despite shipments to the United States increasing by 38 per cent and volumes to China by 23 per cent.
Shipments to South Korea, which were up in the first quarter, fell back in quarter two to end up down 4 per cent for the half year. However, shipments to Japan fell 84 per cent to just 1,000 tonnes, after very strong sales last year. Both the Japanese and South Korean pig industries are recovering from PEDv, reducing import demand, while Japanese pork stocks are also much higher than a year ago.
Of the smaller non-EU markets, volumes to Australia were up five-fold to 2,500 tonnes.
Exports of pig offal were up 45 per cent in the first half of the year at 12,000 tonnes. Volumes to the largest market, China were up 38 per cent to 6,000 tonnes. There was also growth to the Philippines and Hong Kong, the next largest markets.
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