The Netherlands imported more than 1.3 million cattle, pigs, sheep and goats in 2003. This is 45 percent more than in 2002. Imports of cattle (+ 56 percent) and pigs (+ 53 percent) rose substantially, while imports of sheep and goats decreased significantly.
Livestock imports halved in 2001 as a consequence of the foot and mouth crises. Imports of sheep and goats decreased by as much as 70 percent.
Imports of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats
Nearly sixty percent of the imports is accounted for by imports of cattle: 792 thousand heads in 2003, representing a value of 206 million euro. The Netherlands imports cattle mainly from the European Union, mostly from Belgium and Germany. Five percent of imported cattle come from outside the EU.
In 2003 the Netherlands imported 514 thousand pigs, worth more than 44 million euro. All imported pigs are from the EU, again mostly from Belgium and Germany, which together account for 80 percent of imported pigs.
Nearly 57 thousand sheep and goats arrived in the Netherlands in 2003, with a value of just over three million euro. This is 55 percent down on 2002.
Net exporter of pigs
In spite of the strong increase in the number of pigs imported into the country, the Netherlands is a net exporter of pigs. For every ten pigs imported, 150 are exported. For cattle this is the other way around: for every ten cattle imported, two are exported. Exports of sheep and goats are at about the same level as imports of these animals.
Exports of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats decreased by 1 percent last year, to just over 8 million animals. In 2002, partly because of the foot-and mouth crisis in 2001, an increase in exports of more than 50 percent was reported.
While cattle exports rose by 4 percent, exports of pigs remained at around the same level as in 2002. Exports of sheep and goats fell by more than 25 percent.
Most of the exports concerned pigs: 7.8 million pigs left the Netherlands last year, about the same number as in 2002
Livestock exports by country, 2002 and 2003
Nearly all exported animals go to other countries in the EU. Over half are exported to Germany and nearly one quarter go to Portugal. Italy is the third largest customer, receiving 12 percent of Dutch animals.