Photo: Danish Agriculture & Food Council

Update and forecast on Danish pig production including exports

2020 was a landmark year in many ways. The pandemic has affected the Danish food industry. Producers as well as food companies have had to think in new ways to keep the wheels of the industry turning. Despite the lockdown, the Danish pig sector has succeeded in doing just that.

Development in annual production of pigs in Denmark
The total annual pig production increased by 0.9 million (approx. 2.9%) from 2019 to 2020. From 2018-2019, annual pig production saw a fall of 1.05 million produced pigs (-3.2%). This means that Danish production in 2020 saw a fall of 0.14 million (-0.4%) pigs measured against 2018. Some 1.02 million (6.2%) more pigs were sent for slaughter in 2020 compared to 2019.

Export figures and outlook
Exports of pig meat to the EU totalled 953,567 tonnes in 2020.
Total exports of pig meat to countries outside the EU in 2020 rose from 835,862 tonnes to 962,521 tonnes. This was primarily due to demand for pig meat from China.

During 2020, the year of the pandemic, total exports of live pigs decreased by 0.12 million (-0.8%). 1.02 million more pigs were sent for slaughter in Denmark compared to the previous year.

In 2021, pig production in Denmark is expected to total 33.9 million, i.e. production will increase by 1.3 million (4%) compared to 2020. Some of the increase is expected to be due to the backlog of finishers from 2020 to be slaughtered in 2021. The first two quarters of 2021 are expected to see an increase in the number of slaughterings in Denmark compared to 2020. Total exports of live pigs are expected to rise by 0.2 million (1.3%) from 2020 to 2021.

Comparative figures for Denmark’s pig production 2018–2020, incl. outlook for 2021