Danish pig producers are continuing to adapt to new challenges and look set to maintain their traditional output stability, according to AHDB Pork.
“The diversity and success of Denmark’s pork exports, up another 7% year on year in the first ten months of 2015, provides some protection from volatility,” said AHDB Pork is a new review of the state of the Danish industry. “Therefore, despite experiencing plenty of change, it seems likely that the Danish industry will adapt and maintain the stability which has become its hallmark.”
The review, which includes a detailed account of production and farm size changes in Denmark in recent years, highlights the continued importance of the UK market to Danish producers.
“Denmark has traditionally been the main supplier of imported pigmeat to the UK market, particularly in the form of bacon,” said AHDB Pork. “Although its market share has diminished over time, from over 40% in the late 1990s to about a quarter now, it retains its leading position. Therefore, developments in Denmark will inevitably have an impact on the UK market.”
The country’s pig farming strength in terms of efficiency and productive breeding is also acknowledged, particularly that Danish producers are now weaning over 30 pigs per sow per year, which is four more than the EU average and 6½ more than GB producers.
“This means that Denmark can produce weaners at lower cost than most other EU countries,” it is stated, meaning that Danish weaners attract high demand. “Exports continue to grow, with the long established trade to Germany and steadily expanding shipments to Poland supplemented by rising sales to Italy.
“Based on quotes published by the EU Commission, Danish weaner prices have held up better than those elsewhere over the last year. This has given Danish breeders some protection from the negative margins seen across Europe and the Danish sow herd has held up better than some, with only a marginal fall recorded in the year to October 1, 2015.”
All of which leaves AHDB Pork with the conclusion that, given continued and steady improvements in productivity, there should be no reduction in the number of piglets coming out of Denmark, at least not in the short-term.