BELGIUM, Brussels. In 2019 Belgium exported almost 800,000 t of pork worldwide. This represents a 5% drop in volume compared to the previous year. In addition to the shrinking pig population, declining pork production and African swine fever in wild boars are identified as the main causes of the drop in exports.
Due to numerous export embargos, important partners - such as China - could not be served. As a result, intra-Community trade was the focus of attention for Belgian pigmeat suppliers. In business with third countries, a noticeable increase in growth was achieved in West and Central Africa.
The Belgian pig population is estimated to reach a good six million animals in 2019, a drop of 2% compared to the previous year. During the period under review, almost eleven million pigs were hooked in the Kingdom, which represents a decline of 4.55% compared to 2018. The volume of meat produced is a good one million t. The average carcass weight rose from 95.5 to 96.9 kg.
Belgian pork exports 2019
Germany remains the most important partner
In 2019 Belgium once again confirmed its good trade relations with its European neighbours. Germany remains the number one partner with a volume share of 29% or 224,731 t. Poland and the Netherlands follow in the other places with a share of 26 and 12% respectively.
Increased exports to West and Central Africa
Because of African swine fever, Belgium suffers from a number of export embargoes. As a result, exports of Belgian pork to third countries in 2019 fell by a whopping 41% compared with the previous year. The Belgians were largely able to compensate for lost ground in their traditional markets by increasing exports to West and Central Africa.
For example, Belgian exports to the Ivory Coast, Belgium's second largest trading partner after Hong Kong, doubled within a year to 7,432 t. Vietnam took third place with 7,153 t of pork, or an increase of 209%. Exports to Congo, Ghana and Gabon also increased significantly.
Belgium mainly exports edible offal (64%) and cuts (29%) to third countries, including frozen boneless cuts, frozen belly and shoulder cuts. Pig fat accounts for 7% of the export package to third country markets.