German pork trade stable
Latest German pork trade figures for January to September show a 1% decline in exports, as volumes fell to 1.27 million tonnes. This was despite the Russian ban on EU pork imports; Russia was Germany’s largest non-EU market last year.
Shipments destined for the EU market increased by 2%, pushing their market share to 84%. The key driver was the increase in exports to Italy, the largest export destination for German pork; shipments jumped by 30,000 tonnes, or 12%, on the year. However, many other export destinations within the EU reduced volumes compared with last year. In particular, sales to Poland and the Netherlands fell by 6% and 11% respectively, while shipments to the UK fell back 5%. Non-EU exports declined by 16%, largely due to the Russian ban. Shipments to China also dropped but this was somewhat offset by a jump in volumes sent to South Korea, which more than doubled to 45,200 tonnes.
German pork imports were also little changed from January to September 2013. Danish shipments increased by 5%, while 8% less Belgian pork was sent to Germany. In both cases, this reversed changes from 12 months earlier, meaning volumes were similar to the first nine months of 2012. Among smaller suppliers, Poland and Ireland both recorded significant growth in shipments.
The live pig trade also remained relatively static overall, with imports moving downwards by just 1%. However, within the total there have been some movements. Weaner imports increased by 3% to 7.39 million head, with most of the extra piglets coming from Denmark. In contrast, slaughter pig imports fell by 9%, or 350,000 head, to 3.36 million head. Over 90% of imports come from the Netherlands and its producers chose to slaughter more pigs at home rather than selling to German processors. Live pig exports also fell by 1% to 2.43 million head, with a 7% increase in weaner sales offset by an 11% fall in slaughter pig shipments.