Germany: Meat exports decreased by 19.3 percent in the last five years

Almost 2.9 million tonnes of meat and meat products were exported in 2022, most of which went to other European Union (EU) countries. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports that this was a decrease of 6.9% from the previous year. Meat exports fell by 19.3% in the last five years. In 2017, just under 3.6 million tonnes of meat were exported from Germany.

Posted on Mar 21 ,00:10

Germany: Meat exports decreased by 19.3 percent in the last five years

Especially the exports of pork decreased markedly over the last five years. In 2022, pork (just under 1.5 million tonnes) accounted for just over half (50.5%) of German meat exports. From 2017 to 2022, the quantity of meat exported fell by just over one fifth (-20.4%). Exports of beef declined by 11.4% to just over 254,000 tonnes in the same period. The quantity of poultry meat exported remained rather constant (-0.2%) and amounted to just under 481,500 tonnes. One of the reasons for decreasing meat exports probably is import restrictions in importing countries such as China. In 2017, 9.7% of all meat exports went to China, while in 2022 the rate was just 0.1%. Livestock in Germany decreased, too.

16% less meat imports in the last five years

A similar development can be seen in the import of meat: in 2022, a good 2.0 million tons of meat were imported into Germany – primarily from other EU countries. That was 4.5% less than in the previous year. Meat imports have fallen by 15.9% over the past five years. In 2017, a good 2.4 million tons of meat were imported in Germany. Here, too, there is a clear decline in the quantity of imported pork: this fell by almost a quarter (-23.4%) from 2017 to 2022. Most recently, around 701,400 tons of pork were imported. Beef imports fell by 12.0% to just under 324,200 tons in the same period. The import volumes of poultry meat fell less sharply - from almost 693,600 tons in 2017 to around 657,600 tons in 2022 (-5.2%).

Meat production has dropped significantly

Meat production in Germany is also declining. According to preliminary results, commercial slaughterhouses in Germany produced around 7.0 million tons of meat in 2022 - a decrease of 8.1% compared to the previous year. Meat production has decreased by 13.9% over the past five years. In 2017, almost 8.2 million tons of meat were produced. Pork in particular is being produced less: the amount of pork produced fell by 18.5% from 2017 to 2022 to just under 4.5 million tons. There was also a 68.7% decrease in the number of pigs of foreign origin slaughtered in Germany. Beef production also decreased over the same period (-12.8%). In 2022, around 984,600 tonnes of beef were still being produced in commercial slaughterhouses. In contrast, the amount of poultry meat produced in 2022 increased slightly compared to 2017 – by 1.8% to a good 1.5 million tons.

Above-average prices for meat and meat products

Like the prices for many other foods, meat prices have risen above average over the past year. In 2022, consumers had to pay 14.5% more for meat and meat products than a year earlier. Poultry meat increased the most among the types of meat at 22.9%. Prices for other meat also increased significantly from 2021 to 2022. Beef and veal cost 19.2% more, pork was 16.7% more expensive.

Meat consumption in Germany declining

In Germany, less and less meat has recently been consumed: According to the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food, per capita consumption was 55.0 kilograms in 2021. This corresponds to a decrease of 12.4% compared to 2011. At that time, 62.8 kilograms of meat per capita were consumed in this country.

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