Irish pork exports in the first half of 2014 totaled 71,400 metric tons, a 15 percent increase from the same six months of 2013. It is also the highest six-month figure the Irish pork industry has recorded since 1997.

Irish pork exports are primarily destined for the European Union market, accounting for around 60 percent of total trade, according to a report from the British Pig Executive (BPEX). The UK is the key market for Irish pork exports and trade increased by 5 percent year over year. Exports of processed pig meat products to the UK also increased. Similarly, there was a strong growth in exports shipped to Denmark, likely for re-export. However volumes supplied to Germany came down by 15 percent.

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Irish pork also gained ground in Asian markets, as pork volumes exported to Japan rose from around 1,000 metric tons to 6,500 metric tons. Similar growth rates were reported for Irish pork exports to South Korea and the Philippines. China, Ireland’s leading non-EU market for pork, imported 7 percent more pork from Ireland.

Ireland, however, exported less pork to Russia in the first half of 2014 than it did during the first six months of 2013. Supplies to Russia fell from 8,600 metric tons to 1,300 metric tons. Russia has since implemented a ban on agricultural products from Ireland for political reasons.