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Fish Sector Important in German Food Processing Industry

GERMANY - The food processing industry is one of the most important sectors in the German economy and the second largest in the European Union, according to a new report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

German food processors enjoy several competitive advantages over those in other EU countries, FAS says. First, they serve a domestic market of over 82 million affluent consumers – the largest in the European Union. Secondly, being situated in center of Europe, German exporters use the nation’s excellent logistics and transportation network to export their goods quickly and cheaply to other neighbouring countries.

The most important markets are the Benelux, France, Italy and Austria.

Last year, Germany's processed food exports alone exceeded $40 billion.

Profitability of the German food processing industry has grown steadily over the past five years with a compounded annual growth rate of two per cent.

Germany’s food processing industry has benefited from EU expansion with approximately 80 perc cent of the country’s agricultural exports going to other EU countries.

The report also shows that Germany’s fish and seafood sector is growing.

In 2006, this sector was valued at $ 2.3 billion.

The largest sub-sectors in Germany’s fish and seafood sector include breaded and frozen fish filets and fish sticks, herring, fish salads, and Atlantic and Pacific salmon. Subsectors experiencing the largest value growth in 2006 included caviar replacement (101 per cent), crustaceans (25 per cent), frozen ocean fish (21 per cent) and foods containing crustacean products (19 per cent).

Imports of fish and seafood products from the United States reached a record level of $262 million in 20064, denoting the highest export level since calendar year 1970.

The most important fish and seafood imports from the US in 2006 included whole or eviscerated salmon ($ 17.5 million), surimi ($ 11.6 million) and roe & urchin ($ 5.0 million), the FAS report says.

Imports of miscellaneous edible fish and seafood products from the U.S. also reached a record amount of $ 227 million in 2006.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.