Croatian pork production hit since EU accession
This Tuesday marked the first anniversary of Croatia becoming the 28th Member State of the EU. Since then, Croatian pig meat production has fallen significantly.
This Tuesday marked the first anniversary of Croatia becoming the 28th Member State of the EU. Since then, Croatian pig meat production has fallen significantly, as imports of pork have replaced much of the weaner trade which thrived before accession. According to the December 2013 pig census, the Croatian pig herd was down 6% on a year earlier but the breeding herd was little changed at around 127,000 head. The fall in the overall herd was mainly the result of lower weaner imports, down by more than a third (or nearly 200,000 head) in 2013. The decline in this trade, which began before the country joined the EU, appeared to have ended in the first quarter of 2014, when 9% more weaners were imported than a year earlier. With fewer pigs being finished in Croatia, both slaughterings and production were down 15% on the year in the first 10 months of Croatia’s EU membership.
Imports of weaners have been replaced by pork, with shipments up by over a quarter last year, to 59,000 tonnes. This growth was entirely in the second half of the year, after Croatia joined the EU; imports in the first half of 2013 were down 4%, while in the second half they were up by half. The rapid rise in imports continued in early 2014, with a 70% year-on-year increase in first quarter volumes.