China softens drop in Canadian pork exports

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

The price of Canadian pork exports increased, despite a decline in overall exports
The price of Canadian pork exports increased, despite a decline in overall exports

Related tags: International trade, Ahdb pork

China’s ever-growing appetite for international pork helped prevent a greater drop in Canada’s exports of fresh and frozen pig meat in the first six months of the year. 

Exports of Canadian pork have declined marginally over the first half of the year, dropping by 2% to 74,000 tonnes (t) when compared to the same period a year ago. But a bumper period of trade with the world’s most in-demand pork importer, China, helped soften the blow of a sharper decline, according to data from UK levy board AHDB Pork.

Canada saw shipments of fresh and frozen pork increase by a staggering 300% when compared to the first six months of 2015. The burgeoning trade with China​ now accounts for almost a third of all its pork exports.

Disease spike

Blossoming business with China​ was not, however, enough to hold back exports from falling slightly on last year. This was helped in no part by Canada’s second-largest pork export market, the US, where trade reclined by a staggering 29%.

This can partially be explained by a spike in pork exports in 2015 which AHDB Pork market intelligence manager Stephen Howarth said was “exacerbated​” by the tail end of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) which meant the US imported more pork. Volume trade to the US is believed to have stabilised again, settling on levels enjoyed throughout 2014.

Enjoyment has also been found in Japan, despite the country suffering from a recent fall in inflation. Canadian pork exports to Japan recorded steady growth over the last six months. The rise, Howarth notes, is down to the fact that domestic demand continues to rise alongside Japan nursing its herd back to full strength after it too suffered an outbreak of PEDv in 2014.

Overall, the average price of Canadian pork exports increased by 3.5% and total value surged by 14%. This was largely driven by the huge increase in Chinese pork imports were value increased five-fold on levels in 2015.

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