In the first quarter of 2013, China imported 10 percent less pork compared to same period last year, largely due to a 70 percent decline in the amount of US pork shipped, according to BPEX. The reduction is the result of China imposing new requirements that all pork imports must be independently certified to be free of ractopamine.

In the first quarter of 2012, the US accounted for over half of Chinese pork imports. This gap has been filled by EU supplies which were up by two-thirds and accounted for 67 percent of imports during the quarter, compared with 36 percent in 2012. All EU exporters benefited, with the exception of Ireland. Shipments from the UK during the quarter totaled 4,800 tons, a 4 percent market share.

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There also was a similar pattern for offal exports, with US shipments falling by nearly 40 percent year on year and volumes from the EU rising by nearly three-quarters. The US remained the largest country supplier, however, although the EU accounted for just over half of the total. Shipments from the UK totaled 3,200 tons, a 1.5 percent market share.