Based on the latest figures from Eurostat, total exports, including offal, to all third countries fell 4 per cent year-on-year during the first four months of 2017, according to Dorian Harris, AHDB analyst.
Trade with China, which accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the total, fell by 18 per cent in the first third of the year. This was particularly influenced by a sharp decline in shipments during April, when volumes dropped to half of the year earlier level. In contrast, shipments to other markets in April were only down 6 per cent.
For the January-April period, EU trade with the Philippines experienced a much smaller fall, of 3 per cent, compared to China. However, shipments to Japan and South Korea increased year on year, by 6 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. Exports of pig meat to Hong Kong were virtually unchanged on the year, up less than 1 per cent.
EU exports of fresh/frozen pork were 3 per cent down on the year during the same period. Yet of the major markets shipments to South Korea increased by a quarter followed by Hong Kong, which was up by 14 per cent. Exports to the US were also up, by 11 per cent, while Philippines showed modest growth of 4 per cent and Japan increased by less than 1 per cent. In contrast, shipments to China were down by 21 per cent.
Offal exports from the EU to third countries also declined in the first four months of 2017, down by 7 per cent on a year earlier. Trade with China fell by 14 per cent, while shipments to both the Philippines and Hong Kong fell on the same period last year, by 10 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. Volumes exported to Japan doubled, while those to South Korea were up by 68 per cent.