Photo: DAFC


New graphs provide insight into Danish pig production

Danish exports continued to grow in 2021 - despite a decline in exports to Danish pig production’s two largest markets. Details about the development of Danish pig production in 2021 can be seen below.

Developments at Danish pig farms
The agricultural census for Denmark for 2021 shows that there were 2,576 pig farms in all, a decline of 11.8 per cent compared to 2020.

Fig. 1 illustrates the distribution of pig farms according to finishers and sows, finishers only, sows only and farms with neither finishers nor sows. The general decline in the number of farms was across all types of pig farms. The division between the various types of pig farms was relatively unchanged over the year.

Figure 1: Distribution of pig farms in 2020 and 2021. Source: Statistics Denmark, The agricultural census for Denmark.

Total exports of Danish pig meat and live pigs
In 2021, Denmark exported 2,033 million tonnes of pig meat, approx. 21.4 per cent of which comprises live pigs. Total pig meat exports in 2021 saw the strongest rise in Danish pig meat exports in ten years.

Danish pig meat exports and its three largest export markets
China, Germany and Poland are Denmark’s largest importers of pig meat. However, there was a fall of 2.3 per cent in Chinese imports of Danish pig meat between 2020 and 2021 and a fall of approx. 2.1 per cent to Germany over the same period. However, exports to Poland increased by approx. 8.3 per cent between 2020 and 2021.

Read also: 2022 is the year of the tiger – a bief insight into the Chinese market

Pig slaughtering numbers rose in Denmark in 2021
The 2021 pig census shows that the number of pigs declined by 240,000 between 2020 and 2021. The number of Danish slaughterings in 2021 compared with 2020 rose by just over 5.7 per cent. The rise in slaughtering numbers in 2021 was the main reason for the large growth in Danish pig meat exports in 2021 compared to 2020.

Danish pig production in tough times in the second half of 2021 and in 2022
In terms of the 2021 update to the above statistics, it should be noted that growth in exports does not necessarily mean positive growth in pig production. High feed prices have made pig production more expensive, which is why a decline in the pig population is expected in future. This trend is currently mirrored in a number of other European countries.

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