GERMANY, Damme. Tönnies is the only company in the top 5 to succeed in getting more pigs on the hook. Securing raw materials becomes an important factor for the industry.
Last year, the number of slaughtered pigs in Germany fell by 1.7 million to 55.2 million animals. The smaller supply caused many companies to reduce their processing volumes. Nevertheless, the industry leader Tönnies was able to grow against the trend in 2019 and with 16.7 million animals brought 0.6% more pigs on the hook. With a market share of 30%, the family-run company from East Westphalia slaughtered more pigs than the direct pursuers Vion and Westfleisch put together. This is shown by the new slaughterhouse ranking of the Interessengemeinschaft der Schweinehalter Deutschlands (ISN).
Big minus for Danish Crown
Despite a decrease of 1.2% to 7.7 million animals, Westfleisch from Münster pushed past Vion. The Dutch-German competition had to accept a five percent drop to 7.6 million pigs in 2019. The Vion Group with its locations in Southern Germany was particularly affected by the structural change in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, analyses the ISN. Last year, 5.2% fewer pigs were slaughtered in these two states combined. The biggest drop among the top ten in the industry was recorded by Danish Crown with 5.6% to 3.32 million pigs. For the fourth-placed Danes, the discontinuation of pig slaughtering at the Teterow site (district of Rostock) had a negative effect on the overall balance.
In addition to Tönnies, Böseler Goldschmaus, the Willms Group and Simon were able to process more pigs. Manten achieved the highest percentage increase in tenth place with 6.6% to 1.01 million pigs. The concentration in the slaughtering industry has further increased last year. The ten largest companies together slaughtered 80 percent of all pigs, which was 1.2% more than the year before.
Competition for suppliers
The ISN sees new developments in the relationship between pig farmers and slaughter companies. The scarce supply of slaughter pigs in 2019, the continuing strong structural change in agriculture and the ever increasing demands of meat buyers at home and abroad have caused some slaughter companies to rethink their approach. Suddenly the topic of securing raw materials is "at the top of the agenda". Nearly all the larger slaughterhouses are now relying on contracts to secure the raw material pork for their operations in Germany. Even Tönnies, for years an advocate of free purchasing, is now tying a considerable proportion of his suppliers to fixed contracts, observes the organisation of pig farmers. And he continues: "Competition has broken out between the slaughterhouses for future-proof suppliers.
Source: fleischwirtschaft.de, ISN