UK pork exports decline amid tight supply - AHDB

Shipped volumes to Singapore, South Korea rise
calendar icon 7 June 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

UK pork production has been severely impacted by the market conditions of the past 2 years, leading to tight domestic supplies, according to a recent AHDB market report from analyst Freya Shuttleworth. This has had a direct impact on UK trading volumes, with less product available for export. 

In the first quarter of 2023 (Jan-Mar) the UK has exported 78,500 tonnes of pig meat, a 21% drop year on year. This is the lowest volume shipped in the past 5 years with monthly volumes in February and March significantly behind the monthly 5-year averages (-13% and -24% respectively).

Shipments of fresh and frozen pork have seen the largest declines in volumes, down 39% year on year to 34,700 tonnes. This has resulted in the market share of exports made up of fresh and frozen pork product contracting to 44%, down from 66% 5 years ago. In contrast, shipments of offal have recorded a small increase, with volumes up 3% year on year to 35,300 tonnes. This has led to offal now taking the largest market share of exports at 45%, up from 24% 5 years ago. Although offal remains a low value product, it is positive to see uptake in the market increase as ultimately this adds value to the whole pig carcase by aiding with carcase balance and reducing waste.

Shipments to all major trading partners were down year on year. Volumes sent to the EU and the Philippines were down 10,900 tonnes and 4,600 tonnes respectively, while China saw a smaller decline of 2,100 tonnes. However, they were some small gains in volumes made in the wider East Asia region, demonstrating how important the region is to the pork industry. Shipped volumes to Singapore doubled year on year and volumes to South Korea increased 36%, albeit from low bases.

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