July 11, 2017


Poland consolidates position as major pig meat exporter


Poland is set to further consolidate its position as a major exporter of pig meat in 2017, as production growth is being facilitated by both a recovery in the breeding herd and increasing imports of piglets for finishing in Poland, according to AHDB Pork.


Meanwhile, exports of fresh and frozen pork from Denmark and the Netherlands in the first quarter were stable on the basis of last year's performance. However, both countries benefitted from a sharp rise in export prices given the firmer EU pig market in 2017.


This year, Poland's pig meat production is forecast to rise 4% to 1.96 million tonnes, and as a result pig meat exports are expected to increase to a new record. "The long-term development in production might have been one of stability, but both imports and exports of pig meat have increased by 9% per annum since 2007", said the pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.


Poland's largest export market


The UK is the largest export market for Poland-shipments last year amounted to 82,000 tonnes product weight (excluding pig offals). At the same time, Poland has emerged as a significant market for UK exporters, and trade amounted to over 28,000 tonnes in 2016.


The other key export markets for Poland are Germany and Italy, with trade increasing sharply since 2007.


"The Polish pig sector finds itself in a good position in 2017, as in spite of increased domestic supplies prices are still rising because of shortages in other EU markets contributing to good export demand", AHDB Pork said.


It said Poland has become a key player on the EU pig meat market and that developments there impact on the overall EU pig meat market.


Dutch and Danish contrasts


While Dutch pig meat exporters increased their trade with non-EU markets, this was not the case for Denmark. For example, the Netherlands' trade with China rose 36%, while Denmark's declined 12%. Denmark, though, was able to maintain its trade with its key high-value market Japan.


Danish exports to the EU, in contrast, were slightly higher with modest growth to its two largest markets, Germany and the UK. 


On the other hand, the Netherlands, reduced its shipment to the EU, including to its largest market, ltaly, due to lower pork production and the increase in its non-EU trade.


"The outlook for the remainder of the year would suggest that production limitations would continue to constrain export volumes for both countries", AHDB Pork stated.