Cranswick exports surge as China swine fever spreads

Hull-based meat processing giant Cranswick Plc said on Tuesday volumes of pork exported to the Far East rose 16% in the past year after an African swine fever epidemic spread in the world’s biggest pork market, China.

“Stronger pricing towards the end of the year reflected supply tightening in the Chinese market due to a material contraction in the local herd resulting from the developing African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic,” said Cranswick.

“Prices are expected to stabilise over the coming months before firming in advance of the Chinese New Year.  

“We are also continuing to increase sales into our other export markets, with sales of prime cuts to Japan, Australia and Canada delivering particularly strong growth.”

The news came as Cranswick, which employs 10,000 people and has a stock market value of around £1.5 billion, unveiled its results for the year ended March 31, 2019.

Revenue for the 52-week period was £1.43 billion compared to £1.46 billion for the 53-week period reported last year.

Statutory profit before tax was £86.5 million compared to £88 million last year.

Cranswick CEO Adam Couch, said: “The last year was one of consolidation following three years of very strong growth. 

“We delivered this year’s results against a backdrop of highly competitive market conditions and ongoing, Brexit related, political and economic uncertainty.

“We invested at record levels across our asset base and made further strong progress against our strategic objectives. 

“We continue to build a platform and lay down the pipeline for future growth.

“I am confident that continued focus on the strengths of our business, which include its long-standing customer relationships, breadth and quality of products, robust financial position and industry leading infrastructure, will support the further successful development of Cranswick over the longer term”.