GERMANY, Wiesbaden. Fewer cattle, pigs and poultry were processed in slaughterhouses in Germany in the first three months of the current year than in the first quarter of 2020.
According to data from the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the volume of cattle decreased by around 29,600 head, or 3.5%, to 824,920 animals; the meat production in question fell by 4% to 273,240 t. Fewer bulls and steers were hooked; their numbers fell by 6.4% to 308,480. In addition, the number of cows slaughtered fell by 2.9% to 286,750 animals. Slaughtering of heifers was just stable at 145,700 animals, while calves and young cattle recorded a small increase of 0.5% to 83,990 head.
In the case of pigs, the negative trend in slaughter volumes continued in March; however, at 0.9%, the shortfall compared to the same month last year was not as great as before. On balance, however, a total of 13.43 million head were processed from January to March, 586,200 animals or 4.2% fewer than in the first quarter of 2020. However, higher slaughter weights mitigated this decline somewhat; pork production was "only" down 2.6% to just under 1.31 mill. t.
The main factor behind the lower production was the smaller supply of slaughter pigs from other EU countries. Compared with the same period last year, the number of pigs from other EU countries fell by a good 459,000 head or 61.1% to just 310,700 head. By contrast, the number of pigs delivered from German stables to slaughterhouses in Germany fell by only 97,120 animals, or 0.7%, to 13.12 million. North Rhine-Westphalia was particularly affected by this development, with slaughtering of foreign pigs plummeting by 322,000 head or 82.2% to 68,500 head. This caused total pig slaughters in this state to fall by an above-average 5.3% to 4.42 million.
Production of poultry meat excluding ducks and geese was also down year-on-year in Germany in the first quarter of 2021, falling by 1.8% to 389,770 t. This was due to lower turkey meat production at reporting slaughterhouses, which decreased by 6.9% to 114,700 t. This could not be offset by the moderate 0.6% increase in chicken meat production to 260,080 and the higher - but insignificant - volume of broiler chicken meat.