AHDB European Market Survey
22 June 2012
Further growth in German net pork exports
German net pork exports increased further in the first quarter of 2012 to 190,000 tonnes, compared with 130,000 tonnes a year earlier. Despite a three per cent fall in production, exports increased while imports fell as a result of sluggish domestic demand. The increase in exports came despite the dioxin scare, which led to temporary bans of German exports to some countries (see EMS 11/13).
German exports of fresh and frozen pork were up 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. Fresh/chilled exports were up two per cent on the year to 277,000 tonnes with frozen exports up 38 per cent to 144,000 tonnes. Total pork exports to the EU in the first quarter of 2012 were up two per cent with shipments to Italy and Poland, the two largest markets, both up three per cent. Exports to the UK and Denmark, two smaller markets for Germany, were up by 34 per cent and 90 per cent respectively.
Pork shipments to third countries in January to March 2012 recorded growth of over 80 per cent year on year, largely the result of a weak euro and especially strong demand from Asian countries. Shipments to China and South Korea, in particular, were up 16-fold and four-fold respectively. Trade with Russia was up by around 19 per cent on 2011 and there was also substantial growth in trade with Belarus, up 12-fold to 5,000 tonnes.
German pork imports were down six per cent in the first quarter 2012 compared with a year earlier. There was a decline in shipments from all leading markets with imports from Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands all down by around nine per cent. However, there were sharp increases from Spain and France, up 34 per cent and 81 per cent respectively.
Live pig imports in January to March 2012 were down six per cent to three million head on the year. Shipments from the Netherlands were up 18 per cent to 1.7 million head but volumes from Denmark fell by 28 per cent to 1.2 million head. Total slaughter pig imports were up 12 per cent to 1.2 million head. However, weaner shipments fell 15 per cent to 1.8 million head on the back of lower demand from German finishers.
Live pig exports were unchanged in the first quarter of 2012 at 610,000 head. Shipments to Poland, Germany’s largest destination for live pig exports, were up 62 per cent to 153,000 head. This was largely due to falling reported pig numbers on Polish farms, creating demand for imported slaughter pigs. There was also five-fold growth in exports to Ukraine to 62,000 head. However, this growth was largely compensated for by falling trade with Austria and the Netherlands.
The importance of the meat sector within the EU
In an address to the World Meat Congress on the importance of the meat sector, the EU Commissioner to Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Ciolo?, identified the livestock-farming sector as being high on the Commission’s agenda, and not just in the context of discussions on the future of the CAP. The address spoke of the significance of the sector to farming in vulnerable areas, and the challenge of food security while respecting the strong cultural identities linked to meat production and the environment.
According to the Commissioner, Europe is a ‘trailblazer’ on the issues of animal welfare and environmental standards, reflecting the expectations of society as a whole but coming at a cost to the producer. Although these issues are not sufficiently taken into account in international negotiations, they have been raised at the World Organisation for Animal Health. The reform of the CAP has an important role in overcoming the challenges of the sector and to assist in its further development. A full copy of the address is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/newsroom/index_en.htm.
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