The European Union’s pork/pork variety meat exports soared again in September, reaching 287,809 metric tons (mt). This was a 13 percent increase from a year ago and trailed only the record volume posted in October 2014. Exports to China/Hong Kong were up 37 percent to 156,684 mt, accounting for 54 percent of export volume. Exports were also larger for Japan, the United States, Vietnam and the Ivory Coast, but trended lower for South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and Taiwan.
For January through September, EU exports are on a record pace at 2.137 million mt, up 8 percent from the same period last year. Exports to China/Hong Kong were up 18 percent to just over 1 million mt. Exports were also substantially larger to Korea (173,001, +19 percent), Australia (67,466, +23 percent), the Ivory Coast (38,653 percent, +28 percent), Taiwan (38,477 mt, +27 percent) and South Africa (24,050 mt, +45 percent), while exports more than doubled to Vietnam (23,214 mt, +119 percent). Exports to the U.S. increased slightly (69,548 mt, +1 percent). These increases more than offset lower exports to Japan (229,076 mt, -17 percent) and the Philippines (107,684 mt, -11 percent).
Similar to last year’s trend, EU hog prices have fallen for the past eight weeks, down 5.5 percent year-over-year and 16 percent below the five-year average. In U.S. dollars, last week’s prices averaged $65.96/cwt, down 17 percent from a year ago and the lowest since March, also reflecting the recent weakening of the euro. Given the strength in exports, low EU pork prices primarily reflect the significant increase in European production at a time of generally larger global supplies, with China being the main exception. The industry also faces sluggish demand within the EU and the ongoing effect of losing access to the Russian market.
Data sources: Global Trade Atlas and the European Commission