Nearly 40% of Irish pork exports go to markets outside of the EU

Some 37% of Irish pork goes to third country markets (outside of the EU), according to Stephen Howarth, Market Specialist Manager with AHDB.

Going by this figure, Howarth says that Ireland has the highest share of pork exports leaving the EU (37%) for third country markets.

It was followed by the UK, with 31% of its pork exports going out of the EU.

Just under a quarter of pork exported from the 28 EU Member States was destined for a non-EU market.

Looking to the big EU exporters, nearly 30% of Spanish and Danish pork exports went to third countries last year. Germany accounted for 20% of third country exports.

Figures also show that Denmark has been overtaken as the lead EU pork exporter to markets outside of the EU.

Germany and Spain both overtook Denmark last year and both recorded increases in non-EU sales of 23% and 30%, AHDB has said. In contrast, Danish exports increased by 4%

Combined, Germany, Spain and Denmark shipped over 300,000t of pork out of the EU in 2015. The three countries accounted for 60% of EU pork exports.

This share is little changed over the last two years, Howarth says, despite the Russian import ban and other restrictions on sales from countries affected by African Swine Fever, notably Poland.

Looking at the UK, he says that third country sales have driven UK export growth in recent years, with their share of the total rising slowly.

With UK and EU pork consumption projected to show little growth in the years ahead, he maintains that further developing third country export sales will be crucial if production continues to rise.