A comprehensive overview of Europe’s pork production landscape in 2023. This article delves into the latest trends, highlighting the top pork producing countries within the EU, with a special focus on Spain’s rise as the leading pork producer. We explore the challenges and changes faced by major European pork producers, including the impact of African Swine Fever on Germany’s market and adjustments made by key companies like Tönnies. Stay informed about the industry’s dynamics, key players, and future outlook in this detailed analysis.
The European pork industry has experienced significant changes in 2023. Here’s a comprehensive overview:
European Pork Industry Overview in 2023
- Production Decline: European pork production witnessed an 8% reduction in the first seven months of 2023 compared to the previous year. This decrease is mainly attributed to the liquidation of 1 million sows following substantial financial losses.
- Price Trends: Despite the lower production levels, hog prices in Spain declined for 14 consecutive weeks. The price dropped from 2.025 Euro/kg to 1.658 Euro/kg. However, these prices are still higher compared to the same period in other years.
- Challenges: The industry faces numerous challenges, including environmental and animal welfare regulations, older facilities, generational issues in family farms, high feed costs, and diseases like ASF and PRRS. These factors contribute to the continued decline in pork production.
Production by Major European Countries
- Spain: Remains the largest producer of pig meat in Europe, though it has seen the largest year-on-year decline, with production levels in Q1 2023 dropping by 7% compared to Q1 2022.
- Germany and Denmark: Also reported significant production falls of 8% and 20%, respectively, from 2022 levels.
- Other Key Countries: The Netherlands, France, and Belgium saw production drops ranging between 5-10% compared to the previous year. Poland recorded the smallest decline among the major producers, with a 3% reduction in the first quarter.
Overall, the European pork industry in 2023 has been marked by a reduction in production, influenced by various challenges and shifts in market dynamics. The overall pork production in Europe has been declining. In the first seven months of 2023, the EU-27 countries produced 11.9 million tonnes of pork, which is an 8% decrease from the same period in the previous year. This decline is consistent across major pork-producing countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Despite these challenges, major players continue to operate and adapt to the evolving market conditions.
Top Players in the European Pork Industry
Major European Pork Producers: Some of the known large pork producers in Europe include Vion Food Group in the Netherlands and Tönnies in Germany. Vion Food Group has adjusted its production capacities in Germany, and Tönnies has also made changes to its production capacity.
Global Perspective: In 2022, the world’s MEGA pork producers (operations with 100,000 sows or more) were mainly headquartered in China, the USA, Brazil, Spain, and Russia. Notably, Spain and Germany are the leading pork producers in the European Union.