Germany maintains strong position as EU pig meat supplier

Despite concerns over recent cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), Germany has remained the largest pig meat seller to other states within the EU.

Almost two thirds of shipments came from the four largest exporters, but Germany remained comfortably the leading seller to other member states as well narrowly being the largest importer, highlighting its central position in the EU pig market, AHDB’s Bethan Wilkins commented.

Analysis of trade figures shows a decline in the volume of pig meat (including offal) traded between the 27 EU member states in 2020, recording a 3% fall compared to the previous year.

Germany narrowly increased shipments to other EU members last year (totalling 1.6 million tonnes), likely as a result of ASF being discovered in the German wild boar herd last September, restricting its export options outside of the EU.

Belgium and the Netherlands were key recipients of more German product. Last year, 61% of German exports went to other EU countries, compared to 58% a year earlier.

Ms Wilkins said that the 11% fall in pig meat imported into Germany last year (totalling 977,000 tonnes) was also key to the overall fall in product traded.

She pointed out that most countries followed the overall trend and exported less product to other member states last year: “The trend was particularly noticeable from Spain, with exports falling by 7% to 1.0 million tonnes. This reflects product being diverted out of the EU towards the Chinese market.”

Similarly, the majority of countries took lower volumes from fellow EU suppliers. Aside from Germany, Italy recorded the most significant fall in product received (-6% to 973,000 tonnes).

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