THE NETHERLANDS, Den Haag. The Netherlands marketed fewer piglets abroad overall in the first half of 2021 than in the same period last year, with exports to Germany in particular declining.
According to recent data from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), about 3.33 mill. piglets were exported from Jan. 1 to July 2, 2021, down nearly 86,000 head, or 2.5%, from the same period last year. Of these, Germany accounted for 1.91 million head, a drop of 288,000 piglets or 13.1%. Nevertheless, Germany remained by far the most important customer.
According to the RVO, the Netherlands mainly expanded its piglet exports to Spain during the reporting period, increasing by 274,000 head or 50.4% to 817,000 animals compared to the same period last year. The country thus remained number two on the Dutch customer list. In contrast, piglet exports to Belgium and Luxembourg were significantly reduced. Here, the corporate agency recorded a total drop of 35,000 head, or 8%, to 442,000 head.
Dutch experts attributed the overall decline in piglet exports primarily to the participation of numerous Dutch sow farmers in the Hague government's "Warm Restructuring" program. The aim of this program is to downsize the pig herd for environmental reasons.