These forecasts are based on a market study carried out by the Swiss research
Decrease in production
Profitability is a problem in the international pork
sector - feed prices have increased causing higher production costs. In
addition, supply is abundant while demand remains low. The strength of the Euro
is also obstructing international trade.
In the coming months, production would not seem to decrease worldwide for the
time being, so that prices cannot increase yet either. However, German producers
have already been reacting to the low prices, so that an initial recovery is
noticeable in Germany. Thus a great number of sows were slaughtered in the
summer months, so that production fell to a clearly lower level at the beginning
of 2008. In Belgium too a decrease in pig production has been forecast.
The Belgian Meat Office predicts that
the total number of pig slaughters in Germany will increase in 2008. The flow of
pigs for slaughter entering Germany from Denmark and the Netherlands is the
driving factor for the increase.
In addition, new livestock trade streams are developing, e.g. from The
Netherlands and Denmark to the East-European countries Poland, Hungary and
In Belgium pork production has stabilised for the time being. It thought to
be only temporary and the downward trend will continue again.
Belgian slaughterhouses are importing more and more pigs for slaughtering
to deal with this trend. In 2007 no less than 240,000 more live pigs were
imported into Belgium than in 2006.
Exports outside EU
9% of EU production in 2007 represented pork exports.
The market has remained stable. However, the Belgian Meat Office has noticed
shifts between the various export regions.
Russia offers good
perspectives for pork export as it is
a major purchaser of cuts that are less in demand in
Europe. Demand for high-quality pork cuts is also rising there.
South-Korea is also proving to be an interesting export market. Fierce
competition reigns in the market.
Australia and China are among the remaining countries which are interesting
for European pork exporters.
Trade within EU
Pork trade between the various European
countries features various specialised flows based on the different eating
cultures within Europe.
Germany, for example, is now a greater exporter than importer for the first
Danish and Dutch companies also benefit from the favourable industrial
climate and invest in their own processing plants there.
A number of Danish companies are also venturing to the British market.
Italy and the United Kingdom are major pork importers, whilst Greece stands
out as a growth market for pork import.
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