Record price inflation across all cuts driven by Chinese demand has seen EU pork prices rise sharply as the global effect of China’s domestic pork shortage due to the African Swine Fever outbreak continues to take its toll, again driving both UK and European prices upward across all cuts, including cooked meats and bacon. EU prices are expected to strengthen further as we head to towards Christmas driven by lower pig numbers globally and increased Chinese demand and expected seasonal demand.
China’s total pork imports in the first six months of this year already rose 26%, to 819,000 tonnes.
Latest HMRC figures show that exports of pork and pig meat products for the first half of the year rose from 166,000 to 183,000 tonnes, worth £268 million – an increase of 15%. Almost half of the shipments were to non-EU third country markets.
The prevailing African Swine Fever situation has driven demand for imported pork across the Asian region, and particularly in China. From January to June, the UK has seen shipments increase by 56% to 57,000 tonnes, representing 35% of total UK pig meat exports.
According to the AHDB and their recent analysis concerning a no deal Brexit situation, The UK is a net importer of pig meat products, particularly processed pork, however, considerable volumes of pig meat products are both imported and exported to the EU, under a no deal situation, proposed UK tariffs mean there will be significant differences in the tariffs for imports to the UK and for exports into the EU, These differences will present a number of challenges for the industry
Stephens Fresh Foods Ltd as a manufacturer of cooked meats we endeavour to purchase forward as far as we can to the correct specification of manufacturing quality pork legs of which is at a different cost level to standard grade legs of pork, buying British and EU (Spanish) from a BRC approved supply chain, we are being advised to prepare for significant raw material price increases by the end of September 2019 and as a result we will need to review our finished ham prices, and of course on October 31st Britain is looking to exit the EU and is looking more likely to exit with a No Deal, this will add unavoidable cost implications through tariffs and currency fluctuations, over 30 % of the food we eat in Britain comes from the EU, fruit and veg is around 40 % so the threat of supply chain disruption and delays is a very real possibility in the event of a no deal Brexit.