Denmark - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sector

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-11-13

Overview

  • Denmark is the only country in the Nordic-Baltic region with a net export of agricultural products, producing three times the amount of food it needs for self-sufficiency.  However, there are areas where demand exceeds the supply. Denmark’s main annual agricultural imports from the U.S. are fish and seafood (USD 96.8 million), hides and skins (USD 61.7 million),  wine (USD 52.7 million) and forest products (USD 42.2 million). It is a net importer of these from the U.S, but is an overall net exporter to the U.S.
  • Export from the United States to the EU totaled USD 12.8 billion in 2020, making the EU the fifth largest export market for the U.S. after China, Canada, Mexico and Japan.  For the nineteenth year in a row, the U.S. has run a trade deficit in agriculture with the EU with a gap of USD 17.6 billion in 2020.  In 2020, the main U.S. products exported to the EU by value were  tree nuts (USD 2.78 billion), soybeans (USD 1.93 billion) and seafood (USD 0.95 million).
  • Global branding and further integration of European markets is continuing to produce a more homogeneous food and drink market in Europe, although significant national differences in consumption remain.  Nevertheless, certain common trends are evident throughout the EU: demand for greater convenience, increased openness to non-traditional foods, and a growing interest in health foods, organics, and niche markets. For a thorough analysis of what commodities and products offer the best opportunities, access FAS/USEU (https://www.usda-eu.org/ )and consult Brussels’ and the individual Member States’ Food and Agricultural Import Regulation and Standards (FAIRS) Reports.
  • Agricultural Documentation
    • Phytosanitary Certificates: Phytosanitary certificates are required for most fresh fruits, vegetables, and other plant materials.
  • Sanitary Certificates
    • For commodities composed of animal products or by-products, EU countries require that shipments be accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country. This applies regardless of whether the product is for human consumption, pharmaceutical use, or non-human use (e.g., veterinary biologicals, animal feeds, fertilizers, research). Most of these certificates are uniform throughout the EU, but the harmonization process is still ongoing. Most recently, certificates for a series of highly processed products including chondroitin sulphate, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed cartilage products, chitosan, glucosamine, rennet, isinglass, and amino acids have been harmonized. In addition to the legally-required EU health certificates, several other certificates are used in international trade.  These certificates, which may also be harmonized in EU legislation, certify origin for customs purposes and certain quality attributes. Up-to-date information on harmonized import documentation can be found at the following website: FAIRS Export Certificate Report.
  • Agricultural Standards
    • The establishment of harmonized EU rules and standards in the food sector has been ongoing for several decades. The general principles of EU food law were established via regulation in 2002. This regulation introduced mandatory traceability throughout the feed and food chain. For specific information on agricultural standards, please refer to the Foreign Agricultural Service’s website.
    • There are also export guides to import regulations and standards available on the Foreign Agricultural Service’s website.

Best Prospects

  • Organic Products
    • Although most organic products produced and sold in Denmark are dairy products and vegetables, the demand for all types of organic products is rapidly increasing.  These products include beverages (including tea, coffee, wine, and beer), meat, condiments (including honey and jam), fruit and vegetables, juices, baby food, raisins, rice, nuts, and all prepared foods. Imports from the United States amount to only USD 1.6 million while imports from South America are at USD 9.3 million.
  • Non-conifer Wood, Sawn
    • Most of Denmark’s wood trade is with neighboring countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Germany.  For softwood logs and lumber, the U.S. market position is especially strong and could be expanded, as could wood for wood pellets (fuel), furniture and floor manufacturing.
  • Wines
    • The U.S. market share has increased considerably for wine in comparison to one decade ago. American wine is now well-recognized, and even though the market faced a slight decline during the financial crisis, it is expected to increase during the next couple of years. Smaller importers are constantly looking for suppliers of small quantities and larger importers are constantly looking for exporters who can supply amounts of about 250,000 liters/year. Currently, many “up-market” smaller producers are selling their wines in Denmark along with the larger producers; each has found a market here.
  • Fruit and vegetables
    • Danish fruit and vegetable suppliers are not able to cover the growing demand in Denmark and the market is constantly looking for new suppliers.
  • Beer
    • Specialty stores and specialty sections in supermarkets are growing, especially for craft beer from small, independent, and traditional beer producers.
  • Cod
    • With steadily and quickly decreasing catch quotas for cod in Denmark and the rest of the EU, demand for imports into Denmark for cod and other ground fish for export to all EU unsaturated markets is dramatically increasing.