DENMARK, Copenhagen. Brexit leads to sharply reduced deliveries to the United Kingdom. China is buying noticeably more in Denmark. Germany remains most important customer.
Growing pig herds and lower live exports have led to higher production of pork in Denmark this year, which is increasingly being sold abroad.
This is now confirmed by data from the Danish agri-food industry's umbrella organization (Landbrug & Fødevarer, L&F), according to which total exports, including by-products and live animals, increased by 11.2% year-on-year to 550,440 t in the first quarter of 2021. For the first time in a long time, exports of pigs fell by 8.4% to the equivalent of 103,450 t of carcass weight; in contrast, pure meat exports rose by 17% to around 447,000 t. Since, with a few exceptions, hardly any live pigs are supplied to third countries, only EU countries and the United Kingdom were affected by this decline.
The significant increase in pork exports was mainly the result of good business with third countries, which rose by a good 51,500 t or 21.5% to 291,450 t compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Denmark thus sold 86.5% more pork outside the EU than on the common domestic market.
By far the largest third-country customer was the People's Republic of China; the volume shipped there increased by about one-fifth to 168,930 t. The United Kingdom followed. This was followed by the United Kingdom. However, Brexit led to an 18.9% decline in shipments to 37,590 t. Compared to the previous year, the decline in sales was even more pronounced, falling by a third to the equivalent of € 91 mill. By contrast, sales in South Korea were very dynamic, rising by 267% to 6,390 t, and in the Philippines, where exports tripled to 5,980 t.
In Europe, Germany remained the Danes' most important customer in the first quarter of 2021, both for live pigs and pork. However, the total volume shipped to Germany decreased by 11.5% year-on-year to 101,550 t, of which live pigs accounted for 46%. Poland, on the other hand, recorded a 2% increase to 73,860 t, as lower live exports were offset by higher deliveries of cuts. There was growth, however, with Italy. Exports increased by 34.6% to 37,020 t and Romania with a doubling to 6,740 t. In addition to more sales of cuts, more pigs and piglets were exported to Romania.