GERMANY, Wiesbaden. Fewer and fewer pigs are being hooked in Germany. The main reason is falling imports of slaughtered animals. Slaughterhouses in the west are particularly affected.
The decline in pig slaughterings in Germany continued in April, but at a slower rate than in previous months. As shown by current data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), just under 4.30 million pigs were hooked in the reporting month, which was only 0.9% less than in April 2020. In the entire first third of 2021, however, a minus of 609,610 animals or 3.3% to 17.73 million head was recorded in the slaughter volume compared to the previous year. Due to increased slaughter weights, pork production decreased less by 1.7% to 1.72 mill. t.
Data from the Wiesbaden-based statisticians show that the decline in slaughterings was entirely due to the lower number of foreign slaughter pigs that were commercially processed in this country. From January to April, 424,715 ready-to-slaughter pigs from other EU countries were delivered to meat producers in this country; that was about 635,000 head or 60% fewer than in the same period last year. In contrast, the supply of pigs from domestic barns remained relatively constant; it actually increased slightly by 25,400 head, or 0.1%, to 17.30 million head. The share of processed foreign pigs in German slaughterhouses was only 2.4%, compared to 6.3% in the first third of the pre-Corona year 2019.
North Rhine-Westphalia was particularly affected by the low shipments of foreign pigs, which mostly came from the Netherlands and Denmark and to a lesser extent from Belgium or France. According to Destatis, only 107,580 pigs from other EU states were hooked there in the first four months of 2021; that was 402,700 head or 78.9% fewer than in the same period last year. This could not be offset by the domestic supply, which increased by 130,000 to 5.73 million animals; the total slaughter volume fell by 4.5% to 5.84 million pigs. As a result, Lower Saxony took over first place in terms of pig slaughterings in Germany, although these also fell there compared with the first third of 2020, namely by 2.1% to 5.87 million head.