Flat Irish pork exports in Q1
In the first quarter of 2019, Ireland exported 69,600 tonnes of pig meat and offal, with no significant changes from the same period of 2018. The value of these exports was up 4% to €202.7 million euros, reflecting a move towards exporting higher value hams, according to an AHDB analysis.
Pig meat production has increased by 1% to reach 79,000 tonnes, which shows a larger supply of pork in the domestic market.
On the other hand, the volume of pork exports on each traditional market is changing due to increased demand from China. "Around 54% of exports went to the EU compared to 58% last year. Exports to China have increased by 20% in volume (+3,000 tonnes) and 23% in value (+€4.8 million) on average. This is unsurprising considering the ongoing African Swine Fever Situation. The product is primarily frozen pork and offal. We might expect to see growth to China continue as the year moves on," said Jannie Tanner, AHDB Analyst.
Denmark has reduced the volume of pork imported from Ireland by 23%, the biggest drop in the shipments to the EU Member States.
"Live pig exports amounted to 110,200 head in the first quarter of the year, according to CSO Ireland. The value of this trade was €14.1 million. The pigs were almost all shipped across the border to Northern Ireland, but fewer pigs have been transported this year," added Tanner.
At the same time, Ireland is hoping to set a stronger foothold in the Japanese pork market.
During the first quarter of the year, Ireland has exported 3,900 tonnes of pork in Japan up by 1.8% compared to the same period last year. In 2018, Irish pigmeat exported in this market totaled 14,805 tonnes and a new Irish agrifood trade mission is currently in Tokyo to promote meat and dairy products in the Japanese market. Along with China, Japan can prove to be a wild card for Irish meat exports in the next years.
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