The Netherlands sees record pork exports

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© istock
© istock
Dutch exports of fresh and frozen pork increased by 6% to 913,400 tons in 2017 compared to 2016, which represented the largest volume of exports in the trade record going back to 1997.

The figures were included in the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) weekly round up​ of international pig industry developments.

The Dutch exporters were able to increase their trade with other EU markets in 2017 by 17% compared to 2016. Dutch pork sales to Italy were up 7%.

Exports to other key European destinations such as Germany, Greece and Poland were notably ahead in the same period, and volumes to the UK rose 11% on the year.

Dutch pig meat exports to non-EU countries fell, however, last year. Exports to those markets were down 18% compared to 2016.

Although China remained the main non-EU market for Dutch pork, its exports to that country decreased by 27% in 2017. Similarly, lower volumes were exported to South Korea and Japan, decreasing by 20% and 50%, respectively. However, Dutch exporters were able to increase their trade with Hong Kong and Australia.

German pork trade

Exports of German fresh and frozen pork fell for the third consecutive year in 2017, falling 3% on 2016, to 1.8m tons, according to the AHDB report.

It said the decline was largely a result of decreased shipments to China, which fell 40%, to 168,000 tons in 2017, compared to the previous year.  Though German pork exporters saw a decline in Chinese trade, they had a greater number of sales to other non-EU countries - they saw a 22% jump in exports to South Korea and increases in numbers of pork products sold to the Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong.

US pig herd expansion

The AHDB report also cited data from the USDA showing that the US pig herd continues to grow.

As of March 1 2018, the US pig herd stood at 72.9 million head, 3% higher than March 2017 - that figure is 3% higher than the March 2017 inventory and the largest March pig herd on record going back to 1988. 

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