Lower production hasn’t curbed German pork exports
Lower pig meat production in Germany in the first half of 2018 did not stall export volumes. Exports of pork were in fact up 2% (+17,900 tonnes) on the same period last year.
A 3% growth in import volumes (+14,600 tonnes) has likely accounted for some of the shortfall in domestically produced product, but consumption would also have been lower. With average export prices 11% down, the value of German pork exports was still 9% below the year before at €1.86 billion.
With production increasing elsewhere in the EU, export growth has been driven by a 16% increase (+29,700 tonnes) in shipments to non-EU markets. Third country exports accounted for 25% of the total, up from 22% in the same period last year but still below the 2016 figure of 27%, when the Chinese market was particularly strong.
Most of the increase was driven by a 50% (+30,700 tonnes) increase in sales to China, making it the second largest market for German exports. Some German suppliers were temporarily unable to ship to China early last year, which will account for much of this growth. Conversely, shipments to Hong Kong fell to negligible volumes, from 13,800 tonnes in the first half of 2017. Exports to the rest of the EU were slightly lower overall, largely due to a sharp fall in shipments recorded to the Netherlands (-27,400 tonnes).
In total, pork import volumes reached 455,000 tonnes, higher than 2017 levels but still lower than deliveries in the first half of 2016. In particular, Germany received more pork from the two major suppliers, Denmark and Belgium, with volumes up 7% (+10,400 tonnes) and 5% (+6,000 tonnes) respectively. Supplies from the UK also increased 9% at 16,100 tonnes.
Much lower prices (-14% year-on-year) meant that the value of German pork imports was down by 12% overall, at €711.8 million.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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