GERMANY, Bonn. Unattractive prices in Germany mean that more animals are being sold to domestic slaughterhouses. Pig exports are also suffering.
The Netherlands exported significantly fewer pigs in the first half of 2021 than in the same period last year, while slaughterings at domestic meat producers increased in return. According to data from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), a total of 3.81 million pigs were sold to other European Union countries in the first 25 calendar weeks of this year, down nearly 461,000 head, or 10.8%, from the same period last year.
As more animals apparently remained in the country, pig slaughterings increased by about 550,000 head, or 7.5%, to nearly 7.84 million head. Decreasing live exports and more own slaughterings were also recently observed in Denmark.
Piglets remained the most important pig export in the Netherlands. However, the number of head shipped abroad declined by 74,120 animals, or 2.3%, to 3.22 million compared to the first half of 2020. This was largely due to a 281,320 or 13.2% drop in sales to Germany to just under 1.85 million head.
Deliveries to Poland were down even more sharply, but at a lower absolute level, by 57% to 30,310 head. On the other hand, sales of piglets to Spain rose by more than half to 795,000 due to the high prices there.
Exports of slaughter pigs saw the sharpest decline compared to the first half of 2020. The number of fattening pigs delivered to foreign slaughterhouses decreased by almost 352,000, or a good half, to just 362,400 head. This was felt particularly by German meat producers, as the volume of ready-to-slaughter animals shipped to Germany fell by 375,500 head or 54.8% to 309,240 pigs.
In contrast, sales to Belgium, including Luxembourg, increased by 187.6% year-on-year to 24,700 slaughter pigs, while those to Spain rose by 117% to 20,220 head. Exports of slaughter sows also decreased compared with January to June 2020, by a total of 13% to 233,140 head. This included a 38.4% drop in shipments to Germany to 93,810 head. Overall, Dutch pig exports to Germany were down 715,170 head, or 24.1%, compared to the first half of 2020.