Dutch pork exports remain strong
Dutch pork exports continue to grow, with levels for the first six months of the year totalling 409,700 tonnes. This was a 6% increase on the previous year.
The EU remains the dominant market for Dutch pork, with exports increasing by 3% on the corresponding time period in 2014. Purchases from Italy and the United Kingdom saw declines of 4%, whereas Germany increased its imports from the Netherlands by 14%. In part, this replaced exports of Dutch pigs to Germany, which were lower (see below). Trade with non-EU countries demonstrated strong signs of growth, with overall shipments increasing by 18%. This was predominately driven by China, Australia and South Korea, with sales to the former up more than 8-fold, while the other two countries recorded increases of 65% and 46% retrospectively; Japan saw a more modest rise of 4%.
Despite the increases in export volumes, the overall value of shipments for the first half of 2015 fell by 6% compared to the year earlier, to €759 million. The decline in unit value of over 11% was the main driver of this reduction.
Continuing on from trends which began in 2014, live pig exports remained well below the levels seen a year before. Numbers declined to just below 2.7 million head, a drop of 43%, as a higher proportion of pigs are being retained on the domestic market. Figures for both Germany and Belgium were halved in comparison to the previous year, resulting in the overall decline. Both weaner and slaughter pig numbers were lower. Despite this trend, weaner exports to Spain were up by a fifth, due to the increase in sales in the second quarter of 2015.