German meat industry slaughters significantly fewer pigs

German meat industry slaughters significantly fewer pigs

Meat production in Germany is falling. The total amount of meat produced by German slaughterhouses was 3.3 million tons in the first half of 2023 – a drop of 5.9 percent compared to the same period last year. This was announced by the Federal Statistical Office.

A total of 23.6 million pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses were slaughtered from January to June. There are also 343.9 million chickens, turkeys and ducks.

While the quantities of beef and poultry meat remained almost unchanged, significantly fewer pigs were killed. 21.6 million animals were slaughtered – that’s 2.2 million fewer than a year earlier, a decrease of 9.2 percent. The amount of pork produced fell by 9.4 percent to 2.1 million tons.

pork meat has the largest share

One reason for this is the declining pig stocks among German farmers, as explained by the statistical office. The number of animals of domestic origin slaughtered fell by 10.0 percent to 20.9 million pigs.

The number of imported pigs in German slaughterhouses increased by almost 20 percent. With 741,300 animals, however, imports only accounted for 3.4 percent – after 2.6 percent in the first half of 2022.

Despite the significant declines since 2017, pork has accounted for the largest share of commercial meat production in Germany for years, according to the statistical office. The share in the first half of the year was therefore 62 percent. This was followed by poultry with a share of 23.2 percent and beef with 14.5 percent. The meat from sheep, goats and horses accounted for only around 0.4 percent of the total production.


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