With the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU on January 1 2007, new opportunities are for European pigmeat exporters, says German market analyst, ZMP.
The newest EU member states will have a higher import requirement in future, as demand for pigmeat is growing faster than domestic production.
Bulgarian pig numbers stand at around 1 million head, whereas in Romania, pig stocks stand around the 5 million mark – approximately as much as in the UK.
However, there is a large shortfall between the amount of pigmeat available to processors and their overall capacity.
Furthermore, the domestic processing industry is growing by around 10% annually. With the increased demand from industry and rising meat consumption, domestic production is completely unable to keep pace.
As a result, Romania needs to import a large amount of pigmeat and in 2005 alone, pigmeat imports rose by over 50% year-on-year.
Germany was the largest exporter of pigmeat to Romania, with a market share over 20%. In addition, Canada, the US and France all shipped between 11% and 15% apiece.
Boneless pigmeat made up the bulk of German exports to Romania and this is likely remain an important market in the future, ZMP reported.
â€¢ ZMP (in German)
â€¢ European Union
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