Modest German export growth continues
Total German fresh/frozen pork export volumes during the first nine months of the year were up 5% on 2015, at 1.37 million tonnes.
Expansion has largely been driven by increased shipments to China, where overall volumes almost doubled on 2015 levels, to 219,000 tonnes. Growth reduced to under 50% in the third quarter, though, and for September volumes were just 15% higher than the same month last year, although remaining substantially above 2014 levels. Demand from China has likely slowed in recent weeks due to increased competition from US and Brazilian product and some recovery in Chinese domestic production.
In contrast, fresh/frozen pork volumes going to the EU were down 5% overall during the first nine months of 2016, at 1.01 million tonnes. While Italy remained the primary destination for exported German pig meat, volumes were back 5% on the same period last year. Out of the key EU nations importing German pork, only the Netherlands (+3%) and Austria (+16%) countered the general declining trend. Austria reduced imports of live pigs from Germany by almost 50% this year, which may partially account for the increase in shipments of pork.
Volumes of fresh/frozen pork imported by Germany were back 4% on the year during the first three quarters of 2016, at 674,000 tonnes. The top three supplying nations all reported falls, while smaller nations made overall gains this year, including Poland, the UK and Spain, up 34%, 14% and 7% respectively. Conversely, live imports have been increasing; they were up 3% for the year to the end of September. This is largely attributable to a 7% increase in pigs, of which just over half are weaners, from the Netherlands. Eventual pork produced from these pigs may have partially counteracted the decline in imported end product.
Bethan Wilkins, Trainee Analyst
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