UK pork imports rise in August - AHDB

Higher imports likely to subdue market sentiment
calendar icon 3 November 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Total pig meat imports to the UK for the month of August were recorded at 65,600 tonnes, reported senior AHDB analyst Soumya Behera. This is an increase of 230 tonnes compared to the previous month but compared to August 2022, volumes have grown by 4,700 tonnes. Having been in decline for the first four months of the current year, imports have witnessed growth year-on-year from May onwards.

UK pork production continues to be impacted by the market conditions of the past two years as domestic supplies remain tight. The English pig population is currently at its lowest in over a decade.

The overall volumes of pig meat purchased through retail and food service has fallen by 1.3% year-on-year for the 52 weeks ending September 3, 2023. Retail volumes remain supressed, back 2.5% in volume terms. However, demand trends have diverged between food service and retail with volumes in food service growing by 7.2%. The food service sector generally has a greater weighting of non-British product, which may be a key factor driving imports.

Imports of fresh and frozen product and bacon increased, however sausages and processed pig meat imports declined month-on-month and year-on-year. Total fresh and frozen pork imports have seen the largest volume gain, up 23% year on year to 28,400 tonnes. The bacon category also recorded an increase of 12% year on year, totalling 15,500 tonnes and has resulted in the category increasing its market share of UK imports to 24%. Imports of higher value products could dampen the market sentiment further.

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