Danish pork exports increase in early 2018
In the first four months of 2018, Danish fresh/frozen pork exports increased by 8% year-on-year to 375,500 tonnes.
However, the value of this trade fell by 3% to DKK5.6 billion (€747 million). The increase in volume terms reflects the 6% growth in Danish pork production (+28,000 tonnes) during the same period.
Trade with other EU countries increased in importance, accounting for 73% of Danish export volumes. Within this, Germany remained the largest single market for Danish pork, with its share increasing to 32% as volumes to other countries fell back. Shipments to Poland increased 23% year-on-year (+8,600 tonnes) meaning it overtook the UK as the second largest market, as UK shipments declined 13% (-5,700 tonnes). Reflecting a higher import demand, exports to Italy also received a boost (+8,600 tonnes), and there was noticeable growth to a number of smaller EU countries, particularly Romania and Greece.
Exports to non-EU markets increased by 2%, despite a sharp decline in shipments to China, which were 22% lower (-6,300 tonnes) compared to 2017. Increased purchases mainly came from the US and South Korea, with shipments up by 3,000 tonnes each. Deliveries to Japan, Denmark’s largest non-EU export destination for pork, also increased 4% (+1,400 tonnes).
The first four months of 2018 also continued the upward trend in Danish live pig exports. Numbers were up by 7%, reflecting increased supply availability due to herd expansion and a preference from some producers for exporting weaners to countries where they can be finished more cheaply. During the January-April period, over 5.1 million live pigs were exported, of which 97% were weaners. Germany remained the largest importer of Danish pigs, but numbers only increased by a modest 1% (+27,000 head). Poland continued to drive the overall growth in exports, with shipments increasing by 14% (+263,000 head).
However, the sluggish European pig meat market this year seems to have hit the Danish weaner trade harder than their pork export market. The overall value of Danish live pig exports was 11% lower than year earlier levels, despite the increase in volume traded.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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