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German piglet market to be conquered

The German pig industry is witnessing a shift from sow breeding to fattening.

Many small sow producers have been hit badly by the recent price drops for sows. Mainly in the intensive pig producing North-west of the country, fattening is widespread. There is a need in this region for producing big groups of piglets, reports the Agrarisch Dagblad.

Yearly, Germany imports around 6 million piglets. The Netherlands is consistently lobbying the Germans to recognise the quality of Dutch piglets. The Danish also recognise the potential of the German market as 90% of Danish piglet exports are transported to Germany.

In a recent article in the German industry magazine, Schweinezucht und Schweinemast, both the Danish and Dutch were given an opportunity to discuss German piglet requirements.

Danish pigs
Hans Aarestrup of the Danish Svineproducenter, organisation representing interests of the Danish pig industry, commented that, 60% of Danish sows are bred in companies with more than 500 sows. Big companies are currently expanding further and he expects higher health status and better technical results from these organisations in the future.

"Although the Germans prefer piglets with a higher percentage of Piétrain blood, the Danish will continue to use the Duroc as it delivers better results in the fattening period and better feed conversion," he said.

Dutch piglets
Bonne van Dam, representing the Dutch livestock export board, highlighted that 2.4 million piglets are exported yearly to Germany from the Netherlands. "If Germany needs more piglets, we can provide them," he stated.

However, the Netherlands still has one sore point to contend with and that is: Aujeszky disease status. Germany has article 10 status, their north-western neighbours do not. On account of this, more blood tests have to be carried out on Dutch piglets, which makes them more expensive.

Van Dam does point out that Dutch piglets do have a higher percentage of Piétrain blood, which the Germans favour.

By improving the health status of its piglets, the Netherlands has vowed not to submit to its Danish competitors.

Related websites:

• Agrarisch Dagblad

• Svineproducenter (in Danish)

• Schweinezucht und Schweinemast (in German)

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