Stability in Danish and Dutch pork exports

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Exports of fresh and frozen pork from Denmark and the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2017 were stable on a year earlier. However, both countries benefitted from a sharp rise in export prices given the firmer EU pig market in 2017.

One key difference though between the two countries was that Dutch exporters were able to increase their trade with non-EU markets but surprisingly this was not the case for Denmark. This mainly reflected contrasting developments in trade with China as the 12% reduction for Denmark contrasted with a 36% rise for the Netherlands. Denmark though was able to maintain its trade with its key high value market of Japan.

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Danish exports to the EU in contrast were slightly higher with modest growth to its two largest markets, Germany and the UK. For the latter, this would suggest a switch to bacon curing in the UK as Danish bacon exports to this market were down 25% on a year earlier. However, this is not confirmed by the UK import data which indicates a slight rise in bacon imports over the same period.

Lower pork production in the Netherlands and the increase in its non-EU trade has enabled the Netherlands to reduce its shipment to the EU including to its largest market, ltaly, and especially the UK.

Export prices for Danish pork were up 13% in euro compared with a year earlier while the rise for the Netherlands was 16%. As a result, the value of exports increased by similar percentages to €595 million and €414 million respectively.

The outlook for the remainder of the year would suggest that production limitations would continue to constrain export volumes for both countries.

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Leo Colby, Consultant

leo.colby@ahdb.org.uk