German meat trade robust

By Nicholas Robinson in Dusseldorf

- Last updated on GMT

German meat trade robust

Related tags Meat Beef Lamb Pork Poultry

Despite reports of weak industrial farming and poor animal protection, consumption of meat and meat products remain stable in Germany, according to the latest figures.

Levels of consumption have changed little since 2011, but there may have been a shift between the types of meat and meat products bought, due to variations in price, said a report issued by the German trade show InterMeat.

The volume of meat production in Germany reached around 7.3mt each year, with demand staying steady year-on-year.
A breakdown of proteins by sector in the report showed that consumption of pork in Germany for 2011 was 39.2kg per capita and not expected to change much in 2012.

Analysis from the report also showed that consumption of poultry had been affected by reports of the over-use of antibiotics in the industry. However, statistics have shown that it is rising and predicted to increase to 11.5kg per capita in 2012.
Beef and veal accounted for 8.6kg of consumption per capita and lamb was shown to be significantly lower at 0.6kg, with little rise predicted for 2012.

German sausage products saw an increase of 1% in 2011 from 1,484,184t in 2010. The report also stated that boiled sausage was the largest product group followed by raw sausage and cooked sausage.

Currently statisticians are unable to gain an accurate measurement of meat product sales in the industry as a whole, as monitoring sales of dry-cured and cooked ham can be difficult. Accurate statistics are affected when meat processors extend their product range to include pastas, soups and ready meals, and measurement of meat used in the products is not easily attainable, said the report.

The report also noted that, compared to last year, sales values in the meat sector had increased from €15.8bn to €17.2bn, which was a rise of 8.6%. However, the increase had been linked to a “radical increase of the raw materials prices and energy costs during the recent months”.  

Despite higher production costs, the last 12 months saw an extra 1.5% of meat produced from commercial abattoirs and this could be a new meat production record for the country, according to a forecast published by the German Federal State Office (FSO).

A market share breakdown of each protein sector in Germany showed that pork was the highest produced meat and took 68% of the German market share. Next was poultry and beef at 17% and 14% respectively. And the share of sheep, goat and horse meat each accounted for only 0.3%, said the report.

The report said: “For the past four years, the meat sector has been occupying the largest share of the entire value of Germany’s agricultural exports. In 2011, a total of €8.74bn of meat and sausage products were exported. The entire export volume in the meat sector was approximately 4mt in 2011. About 12% of this was allotted to meat products, such as sausages and processed meats.”

While the German meat industry has seen a year-on-year decrease of 11% in exports of fresh and frozen beef, imports have increased by 2.9% to 309,000t and 80% of that came from EU member states. Imports of pork, however, saw a decline of 2.2% to around 952,000t in 2011.

“In the past year, meat production and processing generated a sales volume of €33.5bn. Thus, this business sector continues to be the largest product segment by far in the German food processing industry, ahead of the dairy industry,”​ said the report.

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