DENMARK, Copenhagen. Significantly fewer animals were hooked last year. At the same time, more piglets were exported again.
In Denmark, the number of pigs slaughtered fell sharply last year. According to preliminary data from the Danish Agricultural and Food Industry Association (Landbrug & Fødevarer, L&F), only 16.71 mill. animals were hooked in slaughterhouses. This corresponds to a decrease of 1.32 mill. units or 7.3% compared to the previous year reports AgE. The last time fewer animals were slaughtered in the neighbouring country was in 1990. In 2004, more than 22.6 mill. pigs were still coming to the slaughterhouse.
At the same time, Danish live pig exports continued to increase last year. According to L&F, it increased by about 471,200 animals or 3.2% compared to 2018 to reach a new record of 15.15 mill. This was again mainly due to the flourishing piglet trade. Although around 24,150 light piglets weighing less than 15 kg, or 6.6% less than in 2018, were sold abroad, sales of animals in the weight range from 15 to 50 kg increased by 513,950 units or 3.7%. In total, Denmark exported almost 14.89 mill. piglets last year, 490,000 more than in 2018.
There was also a slight increase in exports of slaughter pigs during the period under review, which rose by 3.4% to 242,140 animals compared to 2018. In contrast, foreign sales of sows halved to 23,800 units. The higher live exports, but above all the lower slaughter volumes, had a negative impact on Denmark's meat exports in 2019, although data for these exports are only available from January to October. According to these data, international pork sales in this period fell by almost 132,000 t or 10.3% to just under 1.15 mill. t compared to the same period last year. Third-country sales increased by 18.7% to 527,000 t due to the brisk business in China. However, sales on the EU domestic market fell noticeably by 25.7% to 620,630 t.