BELGIUM, Brussels. From January to June 2019, Belgian meat suppliers exported 380,008 t of pork worldwide - a drop of 6.6% compared with the same period last year. This is shown by the provisional Eurostat figures.
The declining export figures are partly due to the 2.6% drop in pork production in the Kingdom. The outbreak of African swine fever in September 2018 and the corresponding export ban to certain third countries continue to play an important role, even though Belgium is "free of African swine fever in domestic pigs and wild boars" according to the OIE self-declaration. In a five-year comparison, the average annual growth rate has remained rather stable.
Intra-Community trade has lost some momentum, falling by 1.9% to 358,247 t. Almost 30% of Belgian volumes are destined for the German market: With 110,660 t (minus 8.4%), the Federal Republic remains the most important destination for Belgian pork. Poland is also reducing its imports by 2.6% to 103,373 t. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, growth of 3.6% to 45,775 t was recorded.
Third-country exports in the first half of 2019 were down sharply by 47.5% to 21,761 t. Hong Kong absorbed 5,384 t, or 27%, or almost a quarter of the total volume. Vietnam with 4,033 t and the Ivory Coast with 3,068 t followed in the other places.
In the first half of 2019, 86,051 t of Belgian beef were also sold in foreign trade. The 15% drop is partly attributable to lower beef production (minus 5.1%). On a five-year average, however, an increase of 2.2% was recorded.
Within the Union, 80,063 t were placed, down 13% on the same period last year. At 30,112 t and 19,670 t respectively, exports to the Netherlands and France shrank by 8%. German demand fell by almost one fifth to 13,533 t.
Outside the Union, Belgian beef also met with declining interest with 5,988 t (minus 36%). Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Bosnia-Herzegovina lead the Belgian customer list in third-country business.