Denmark continues to lose its pig industry

UK - The United Kingdom government exported half the national pig industry when it unilaterally introduced its ban on stalls. And now the same thing is happening in Denmark, only this time with environmental legislation.
calendar icon 7 July 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

As a result of new environmental constraints, Denmark has lost 5m of its annual 25.9m pig production, and this has happened in months rather than years.

Most of the production has been exported to Germany, where legislation is less draconian, production costs are lower, and pig prices are significantly higher.

The exodus is causing deep concern to Danish Crown which continues to close slaughterhouses as Danish production plummets.

Danish producers have always gone the extra mile to produce pigs responsibly. They are hurt and confused to find themselves cast in the role of public enemy number one by government and consumers alike.

European prices best for four years

The British pig price has firmed up in recent weeks on the back of strong demand on the continent which has pushed the European Union average price up to its highest level, for this time of the year, in four years.

Currently around €156/100kg (108p/kg) European prices are looking steady but they may fall away as the 'world cup effect' starts to fade. It is predicted by later this year the European average will have dropped to circa €135/100kg (93p/kilo) as production increases one percent.

Transparency of price reporting

United Kingdom has asked Brussels to introduce more transparency into pigmeat price reporting.

This is because - as all United Kingdom producers know - it is difficult to compare prices paid in each country. For instance, straight comparisons between British and Danish prices are notoriously difficult.

A comparison between the United Kingdom average price and the European average price may be useful for identifying trends, but is unlikely to show an accurate differential.

The United Kingdom has offered to help the European Commission deliver improved price reporting. The Commission has agreed to send out a questionnaire on the subject. The issue will be discussed more fully at the next meeting of the Brussels pigmeat management committtee.

Concern over rapid expansion of Polish pig herd

There is concern among European pig producers over the destabilising effects of Poland’s continuing expansion of pigmeat production. Polish production increased a hefty 13 percent last year and is predicted to increase seven percent this year. Poland has lost its export market to Russia and this may result in a surge of cheap Polish pigmeat onto European markets.

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