German slaughterhouses take care of an increasing number of Danish pigs; the quantity of this pork returning to Denmark after slaughter is growing as well, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.
Traditionally, the Danish pig industry exports both live piglets and pork to Germany – but the practice of exporting live finishers to Germany was rather limited. Lately, that trend has been reversed.
Main reason for this development is that slaughter and processing is less expensive at the German side of the border, which is related to relatively low wages in German slaughterhouses. Often, German meat processors employ Eastern European workers who are prepared to work for €5-9/hour. In Denmark, hourly wages amount to €20.
In 2008, in total 858,314 slaughter pigs were exported from Denmark. Average monthly figures have grown over the first©four months of 2009 to approximately 100,000 in April. This is a clear difference with April 2008, when 56,000 live finishers were transported abroad.
Germany also remains the main market for pork produced in Denmark, the Danish Meat Association revealed in its statistics for 2008. In 2008, a total of 27.4 million animals was slaughtered, from 26.3 million.
Total amounts of pork produced grew from 1.99 million tonnes to 2.0 million tonnes. Exports grew from 1.87 million tonnes to 1.94 million tonnes. Exports to Germany grew from 486,000 tonnes to 542,000 tonnes – equalling to about 26%. Other main exporting countries are the UK, Italy, Japan, Russia, Sweden, France and the USA.