UK pork exports were up 7 percent, making 2012 the best year for British pig meat since 2000. Strong export performance of UK pork continued in December, with China taking the second largest volume of pig meat exports for the second consecutive month, according to BPEX.
However, the increase in pork exports was more than offset by a sharp decline in shipments of bacon and ham. There was a more positive picture for exports of processed pig meat products and, more significantly, offal. The main driver of growth in offal shipments was increased demand from other EU countries, which was up 82 percent, likely for use in manufactured products or for re-export.
The UK imported less pork in 2012 than in 2011. The decline was largely the result of tighter supplies in the rest of the EU. In December 2012, shipments were again down mainly the result of a fall of over a third in Danish supplies. Bacon and ham imports were also lower in 2012 and the decline in the final month of the year was even sharper.
The falls in pork and bacon imports have largely been offset by increased volumes of processed pig meat. However, growth has slowed as the year progressed and in December, sausage imports were down on a year earlier, while other processed pig meat shipments were unchanged.