GERMANY, Wiesbaden. The meat industry in Germany, which has been in the public eye following corona outbreaks, has been able to increase its sales in the year to date.
As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), companies with 50 or more employees in the slaughtering and meat processing industry generated total sales of € 14.2 bn. between January and April 2020; this was € 1.9 bn. or 14.8% more than in the same period last year. In March, a new monthly sales record of € 3.9 bn. was even achieved. Last year, the revenues of slaughterers and meat processors had already risen by 7.9% to € 39.7 bn. compared with 2018.
According to the Wiesbaden statisticians, China's high demand for pork as a result of African swine fever (ASF) contributed significantly to the growth in turnover. The good export opportunities have not only caused the prices for slaughter pigs, but also the export and consumer prices to rise noticeably since the middle of last year. In the first third of 2020, Germany sold around 158,000 t of pork worth € 424 mill. to China. This means that the volume of exports to China has more than doubled compared with the same period last year and more than tripled in value.
However, the enormous deliveries of pork to China have reduced German exports to other countries. According to Destatis, a total of 593,000 t were sold abroad between January and April, 1.2% less than in the same period last year. However, due to the rise in international prices, the value of exports rose by a good 31% to € 1.7 bn. The price movements on the pig market did not remain without consequences for consumers in Germany either: In May 2020 they had to pay an average of 11.2% more for pork and 11.8% more for meat, meat products and sausages than in the same month of the previous year. At the same time, consumer prices for all foodstuffs rose by 4.5%.
The Destatis data also show the importance of the recently criticised meat industry. In April 2020, there were 390 companies with more than 50 employees in meat processing as well as 135 slaughterhouses without poultry and 41 poultry slaughterhouses. In total, there were about 100,000 employees. In 2019, the meat industry accounted for 27.5% of the total turnover of the food industry.