The decline in EU pig meat exports started before the last quarter of 2021
There is a different picture for EU pork exports at the end of 2021 compared with what happened a year before. Reduced demand for pork in the Chinese market has led to a decline of 16% in volumes shipped outside the block reported for September. 443,000 tonnes of pork were exported in September 2021 and the situation didn't change much for the next 3 months. Looking at fresh/frozen pork alone, volumes were down by around a fifth compared to 2020, totalling 262,000 tonnes. The decline was entirely driven by China, with trade totalling just 90,000 tonnes, not even half of the previous year’s level. "This reflects falling Chinese import demand due to increased production there. There was a slight rise in product going to other Asian markets.
Offal exports were also 9% lower at 107,000 tonnes, with noticeably lower volumes to both China (-12% to 60,000 tonnes) and Hong Kong (-86% to 3,000 tonnes). These declines were somewhat offset by increased volumes going to the Philippines (+86% to 11,000 tonnes)," said Bethan Wilkins, senior analyst, AHDB. The year-to-date figures show a different picture, with EU pig meat exports 5% higher than during the corresponding period in 2020 at 4.4 million tonnes. More substantial demand growth from the Philippines earlier in the year, alongside a better trade with China, had previously been supporting volumes.
"Philippines trade is more than double the year before across this period overall, totalling 228,000 tonnes. China trade is only down by 9% across this same period overall, totalling 2.1 million tonnes. Looking at the product breakdown, between January and September, fresh/frozen pork has recorded 6% growth overall, while offal trade has only increased by 2%," Mrs Wilkins added.
China is following the path of self-sufficiency in pig meat, with a rate of 100% for this year, a...