Exports of fresh and frozen pork to the EU increased by nearly 50% in the first four months of 2016, according to Danish Crown. It comes as China more than doubled the volume of pork it imported from Europe as the country continues to struggle with domestic production.
Søren Tinggaard, vice-president of Danish Crown’s export department, said the “positive developments” in Europe for pork were thanks to a stabilisation between supply and demand.
“Right now there is a good market for hams and stable sales of chops, fore-ends, necks and shoulders. There also remains a satisfactory demand for backs to the English bacon market,” Tinggaard added.
Until now Danish Crown has not seen a drop in demand for meat in the UK as a result of the country’s vote to leave the EU. It was expected that demand could reduce slightly in the UK as the pound falls in the FX market, making meat imports more expensive for the UK.
The low cost of slaughtering in Denmark is expected to give the meat processor “additional ammunition” to optimise profits from meat exports to the UK. “At the moment we are actually quite hopeful [about the market],” added Tinggaard.
Uncertainty is all around the meat industry following Brexit. Analysts at UK levy board AHDB Pork said full details on the impact of Brexit on the meat industry would be unclear until negotiations between Brussels and London were concluded.
The levy board said trade with Europe – the UK’s largest market – would continue in the short term, but a weaker currency was likely to limit imports. AHDB also believed the political and economic uncertainty over what happens next in the UK would need to be followed, as it could have in impact on consumer behaviour and demand for meat.