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Irish pork exports increase, but at slower rate than previously
Published:  02 December, 2016

Latest figures from the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) have shown that exports of Irish fresh and frozen pork for the first three quarters of the year increased 13% on the previous year – at 139,100 tonnes (t). 

Although an increase, this growth has slowed in recent months, with volumes from the third quarter back 1% on 2015.

“Growth has largely been driven by the expanding Chinese market, but the extent of this growth slowed in Q3,” explained AHDB Pork analyst Bethan Wilkins. “Shipments to Denmark, likely to re-export to the Far East, were up sharply during the first half of the year, but deteriorated to a year-on-year drop of 23% in the latest three months. Meanwhile, shipments to Germany, which largely consists of carcases, were below 2015 levels.”

Volumes of Irish pork shipped to the UK were up 6% at 44,000t to the end of September. Despite the devaluation of sterling decreasing the price competitiveness of Irish pork against UK domestic products since July, positive growth continued in the third quarter. The reduced production of pigmeat in the UK is considered to be an instigator in this.

Irish fresh and frozen pork import volumes were 11% less than 2015 during the first nine months of the year, at 26,700t. “Despite the overall decline, shipments from the UK actually grew during this period,” said Wilkins. “However, the trend in UK shipments reversed in the third quarter, despite the weak pound reducing unit prices in euro terms. Tightening supplies may have limited UK export potential. Shipments from Spain showed notable growth, while imports from the Netherlands and Denmark decreased significantly.”