Photo: DAFC

Photo: Colourbox

What is the outlook for 2022 for the Danish pig sector with the pandemic still a presence in our lives?

Despite another Covid surge in Denmark and the resulting restrictions, the Danish food industry has continued to supply food products to stores across Denmark and to customers across the globe. But how has Danish pig meat production kept the wheels turning? And what is the outlook for production in 2022?

In the autumn of 2021, Europe was again hit by a new Covid variant. This resulted in another round of restrictions, which affected the industry on a number of fronts. Demand for meat from the food service market fell as the opportunities for eating out were restricted. In Denmark, the Christmas trade kept prices stable in the latter half of 2021. They remained so from October and into the New Year at DKK 8.40 per kg.

The recent outbreak of African Swine Fever in Italy has affected demand from the Italian market, resulting in further pressure on the Danish price since mid-January.

Read also: 2021 – a year of development, ambitious targets and challenges

Flexibility and routine can protect Denmark’s food production despite the pandemic
Throughout the pandemic Danish meat processing companies have done their utmost to maintain pig meat production on a daily basis. Denmark exports to the whole world and has done so for many years. For this reason, Danish slaughterhouses are used to acting and adapting to changes in the market. Danish food production is also subject to stringent quality control and food safety requirements along the value chain. Many daily routines are an integral part of these requirements, which is why knowledge and workflow have been important in maintaining food production during the Covid pandemic and for confronting the challenges the pandemic has brought about.

The European meat market
The European market is usually under pressure in January. The spring is expected to bring better prices for pig meat in the European market.

Sales opportunities for Danish pig meat: China will be a major pig meat importer in the long term
Danish prices for finishers are expected to increase in the spring. This is because finisher production in Europe is expected to decline. All indications are that China will re-emerge as an importer of pig meat. Within an international perspective, the costs involved in Chinese pig meat production are extremely high, which is why imports are likely to rise. The high costs are partly due to the dependence on imported feed, such as maize and soya, and the low efficiency level of Chinese pig production.

Read also: Annual Report: an insight into Danish pig meat production in 2020

Increasing demand for pig meat in the spring
Taking a positive outlook that Covid restrictions will subside during the spring, the meat market will see rising demand from the foodservice sector, with a likely increase in pig meat prices during the spring

Read also: Pig industry signs up to new vision for Danish pig production