EU pig meat production in decline


Pig meat production in the EU totalled two million tonnes in March, a decline of 7% compared to a year earlier, according to AHDB analysis. This brings production in the first quarter to 5.85 million tonnes, a decline of 5% year-on-year.

Posted on Jul 04 ,04:31

EU pig meat production in decline

Individual country performance across the bloc varied, with Germany and Denmark both in decline, but Spain still increasing output. Production in Q1 compared with a year ago looks like this for this selection of EU states:

  • Belgium, -26,000 tonnes, (-9%)
  • Denmark, -20,000 tonnes, (-4%)
  • Germany, -155,000 tonnes, (-12%)
  • Italy, -27,000 tonnes, (-8%)
  • Poland, -63,000 tonnes, (-12%)
  • Spain, +52,000 tonnes, (+4%)

Producers the region over are struggling with the cost of production, compared with prices received. On average, the cost of production in the EU is higher than the average price, challenging profitability and future production. In April, the European Commission forecast production to decline by 3% in 2022, but judging by the numbers above, the reality may now be that production will contract by more than this.

As is the case in the UK, the EU is now exporting far less pig meat to China, contributing to lower export volumes overall. In Q1, the EU exported 923,000 tonnes of pig meat (shipped weight, excluding offal), a decline of 28%. Within this, exports to China fell by 72%, and constituted only 21% of volumes, down from over a half in Q1 2021. Against this, gains were made to Japan, South Korea, the US and even Australia, as the bloc diversifies away from the Chinese trade.

The unit price of these exports rose by 7% year on year to €2.91/kg, and so overall value to the sector fell by 23% to €2.7 billion in the first quarter. However, the decline in exports outweighed the decline in production in Q1, which implies that more EU pork continues to be consumed at home.

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