China continues to drive demand for European pigmeat
European pigmeat exports are up 33pc, driven primarily by demand from China.
Irish pig meat exports were 257m tonnes in 2017, but European pigmeat exports are up 33pc - based on Chinese demand.
Figures from Teagasc show that Europe is taking advantage of the need for pig meat in China.
It says that the impact of this demand from China will help drive pigmeat prices up in 2017.
Since 2013 China has slaughtered 12.4m sows, the equivalent in size of the total EU sow herd. This led to a scarcity of pigmeat in China in recent years, which in turn led to increased demand for European pigmeat.
While Teagasc says that it expects there will be a cooling off of EU exports, due to competition form the US and Canada, those countries' exports may be affected by their use of hormones.
Both countries allow pig producers to use a growth hormone, Paylean, but they are looking to supply a paylean free pig to get into the Chinese market.