Increased production alters German trade balance
Higher pig meat production in Germany in the first half of 2015 meant that it had more pork available for export and required less imported pork.
As a result, exports were up 2% on the same period last year, while imports were 9% lower. With increased supplies also apparent elsewhere in the EU, export growth was driven by non-EU markets, with shipments up by nearly a quarter. Third country exports accounted for 18% of the total, up from 15% in the same period last year and a similar proportion to 2013, before the Russian import ban. Most of the increase was down to a doubling of sales to China, making it the fourth largest market for German exports. Shipments to the rest of the EU were actually slightly lower than in January-June 2014, although volumes sent to the two leading buyers, Italy and Poland, were largely stable. With unit prices 7% lower, the value of German pork exports was 5% down on a year before, at €1.74 billion.
With higher domestic supplies and lacklustre consumer demand, the need for imports was reduced. At 460,000 tonnes, volumes were the lowest in the first half of the year for a decade. All the major suppliers sent less pork to Germany, although the decline from leading source Denmark was only marginal. The UK was also affected, with volumes down 8% at 14,700 tonnes. Much lower prices meant that the value of German pork imports was down by almost a quarter at €693 million.