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Lower production limits German pork exports

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 31, 2019
Total pig meat production in Germany fell by 4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, to total 1.3 million tonnes, AHDB said.
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This is unsurprising, as sow numbers have been falling.

The German pork industry is undergoing some structural change, with breeding units closing in recent years.

This is expected to have a longer-term effect on German pig meat production going forward.

Exports during the same period have suffered as a result.

Total pig meat exports (excl. offal) in the first quarter were 527,000 tonnes, a 2% (-11,400 tonnes) decline compared to a year earlier.

The majority of these declines stem from a reduction in fresh pork exports, particularly to other European countries.

Shipments of pig meat (excl. offal) to the UK, however, increased markedly over the quarter, up 25% (+8,000 tonnes).

This is likely to do with a build-up of stocks in the run-up to the initial Brexit day.

Frozen pork exports to China picked up noticeably in March.

Meanwhile, imports were also down in the first quarter.

Pig meat imports (excl. offal) totalled 264,000 tonnes, a 3% decline compared to 2018.

This predominantly reflects reduced deliveries from Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Poor consumer demand in Germany continues to dent confidence in the sector.

However, pig prices in Germany have been rising recently and so producers’ returns are looking more positive.