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AHDB European Market Survey

16 March 2012

AHDB European Market Survey - 16 March 2012AHDB European Market Survey - 16 March 2012

German exports of fresh and frozen pork totalled 1.69 million tonnes in 2011, seven per cent higher than the previous year.


Further rise in German pork exports

German exports of fresh and frozen pork totalled 1.69 million tonnes in 2011, seven per cent higher than the previous year. In the last six years exports have more than doubled as processors increasingly focus on export markets. The increase in 2011 occurred despite the German dioxin crisis that dampened trade at the beginning of the year; the weakness of the euro and good demand has boosted export prospects. Exports were valued at €3.5 billion in total, a year on year increase of 12 per cent, with the average export price up by five per cent.

Over 80 per cent of fresh and frozen pork exports from Germany were destined for other EU Member States. Italy remained the largest market, with a 20 per cent market share, and increased shipments by almost 11 per cent between 2010 and 2011. Exports to Poland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Hungary also increased over the year. Austria and the UK were amongst the exceptions, with German exports down by eight per cent and seven per cent respectively. The largest share of third country shipments was destined for Russia, with trade remaining relatively stable year on year. However, exports to Russia were 63 per cent higher than in 2009. During 2011, there was significant growth in shipments to other increasingly important markets, notably China and South Korea.

Imports of fresh and frozen pork to Germany were two per cent lower in 2011 than in 2010 and were almost entirely supplied by other Member States. Although Denmark and the UK increased shipments by five per cent, imports from the Netherlands fell 25 per cent year on year. In addition, shipments from Spain and Belgium were down compared to year earlier levels. Imports have suffered on the back of subdued consumer demand, competition from third country markets, higher German production and the release of stocks from the Private Storage Aid scheme. However, the total value of imports to Germany rose by three per cent year on year to over €1.6 billion.

Imports and exports of live pigs were lower in 2011, compared with 2010. Imports to Germany totalled 12.5 million head, ten per cent lower year on year, with both weaner and slaughter pig numbers down by similar amounts. Denmark and the Netherlands remained the dominant suppliers. Weaner imports were reduced by lower demand from German finishers while German slaughtering companies reduced their requirement for imported slaughter pigs.

Total live pig exports from Germany were down by one per cent over the year to over 2.5 million head. Shipments decreased to Austria, Poland, Hungary and Croatia but exports of live pigs to Spain and the Netherlands were up by 42 per cent and six per cent respectively. Exports of piglets, which accounted for almost two thirds of the total, were up 7 per cent year on year, with strong growth in numbers sent to the Netherlands and Spain. Meanwhile, finished pig exports were down 13 per cent, despite increases in trade to Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic.

Increase in German red meat production

German red meat production totalled 6.7 million tonnes in 2011, an increase of one per cent compared with the previous year. This increase was driven by a two per cent increase in pig meat production, along with increases in the much smaller scale veal and sheep and goat meat sectors. In contrast, production of beef fell by three per cent. With domestic consumption of red meat in long term decline, most of the rise in production was destined to satisfy the strong export demand for German meat.

German beef production in 2011 decreased three per cent compared with 2010, while veal production increased by nine per cent. Slaughterings of adult cattle during 2011 decreased by four per cent to 3.3 million head. The fall in slaughterings was partly offset by a marked increase in average carcase weights which were up by nearly 3kg to 337.7kg per head. There was a four percent fall in bull slaughterings, although they were stable in the first half of 2011 but seven per cent lower in the second half of the year when compared with the same periods in 2010.

There was a decrease of two per cent in the number of cows slaughtered but a marginal increase in the number of heifers slaughtered. The decline in cow slaughterings was due to fewer dairy cows being culled, as since June 2010 there has been a recovery in the German milk market following a fall in prices in the previous year. Therefore milk producers increased their milk production.

Pig meat production in Germany in 2011 was up two per cent on 2010 to 5.6 million tonnes. Pig slaughterings in Germany increased by two per cent year on year with only a marginal increase (0.4kg) in carcase weights.

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