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Exports lower

Against a background of declining availability of pigs for slaughter, exports of Danish pig meat declined in the first six months of the year, with reductions experienced across most of the key markets.

As exports of Danish weaners to Germany and Poland continued to increase, pig slaughterings in Denmark fell by around 7% from 12.1m to 11.2m pigs in the first six months of 2012.

It was therefore little surprise to see Danish pig meat exports decline in the same period, with lower quantities being shipped to all the major markets, with the exception of Poland and China.

Pig prices have moved ahead strongly in Denmark in recent weeks. Although the current quotation (DKK 12.60 per kg) still lags behind the average ‘cost of production’ (DKK 13.50 per kg), many larger more efficient Danish pig farmers are now producing at a profit. The fact that many Danish pig farmers produce a substantial proportion of their own feed has helped them manage the recent increases in feed costs.

It is expected that between 5% and 10% of pig farmers may leave the industry during 2012, in advance of the new EU pig welfare regulations. However, these will tend to be the smaller less efficient producers. The latest forecasts suggest that pig production in Denmark will fall by around 3% during 2013.