German trade data for the first six months of 2008 confirms the trend already indentified in the first quarter of the year of a fall in live pig imports, although from a comparatively high level in 2007. The three percent drop in imports was largely due to 10 percent fewer pigs being imported from the Netherlands.


Overall, there was a fall of nearly six per cent in weaner imports to 2.16 million. The six percent increase in supplies from Denmark to 1.39 million was insufficient to offset a 22 percent decline in imports from the Netherlands. Germany also imported fewer slaughter pigs from the Netherlands (1.70 million compared with 1.78 million).


German pigs remained strong, increasing by a third compared with the same period in 2007. There were increased exports to most destinations, although Spain and the Netherlands were the main exceptions. Exports are expected to remain firm during the remainder of 2008, notably to Central and Eastern Europe.

Reflecting increased domestic production in the first half of 2008, Germany’s exports of fresh and frozen pork increased by over 30 per cent to 623,000 tonnes. A fall in exports to Italy was compensated for by increased exports to a number of other EU countries, including the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Denmark, as well as to Russia.

At the same time, Germany’s imports of fresh and frozen pork fell by two percent in the first half of 2008, largely explained by a fall of over 19 percent in imports from Belgium.