Exports were up 19% year-on-year, at 139,000 tonnes (t), driven by greater demand in the East and a favourable exchange rate.
Last March, exports were affected by the implementation of the Russian ban. However, the latest figures are higher than in previous years; indeed it is the highest March figure since 2002.
Strong sales to Asia and Australasia have driven the increase, with China, South Korea and Australia among the major growth markets.
The weak euro has helped EU pork remain competitive on these markets as demand strengthens. This means that, although prices were 19% lower in US dollar terms, they were actually 4% up in euros. That meant that the value of exports rose by nearly a quarter year on year, to €319m.
Offal exports were equally strong in March, with a 29% year-on-year rise, to 106,800t. China and Korea were again key growth markets, with shipments to the latter more than doubling. There were also good sales to a range of smaller markets in Asia and Africa.
Even pig fat, for which Russia was previously the dominant buyer, recorded increased shipments in March, although these were still only around half their level in March 2013. However, prices have continued to fall and were only around half of their level before the Russian ban.