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: 2022-12-02

Overview 

Denmark is the only country in the Nordic-Baltic region that is a net exporter 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 United States are wood pellets (USD 83.5 million), wine (USD 75.1 million), feed (USD 54.4 million) and fish and seafood (USD 38.9 million). It is a net importer of these agricultural products from the United States, but is an overall net exporter to the United States. 

Agricultural exports from the United States to the EU totaled USD 12.7 billion in 2021, making the EU the fifth largest export market for the United States after China, Canada, Mexico and Japan.  For the nineteenth year in a row, the United States has run a trade deficit in agriculture with the EU with a gap of USD 21.1 billion in 2021.  In 2021, the main U.S. agricultural products exported to the EU by value were soybeans (USD 2.49 billion), including meal; tree nuts (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts) (USD 2.42 billion); and food preparations (USD 0.47 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 trends are common throughout the EU:  demand for greater convenience, increased openness to non-traditional foods, and a growing interest in health foods, organics, and niche markets. Food inflation is driving consumers to seek cheaper alternatives.  For a thorough analysis of what commodities and products offer the best opportunities, access FAS/USEU and consult Brussels’ and the individual Member States’ Food and Agricultural Import Regulation and Standards (FAIRS) Reports

FAIRS Certification Report  

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 

Fuel Wood and 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. Due to lower EU supply of wood pellets and increased domestic demand in the EU, Denmark is importing more wood pellets from other continents.  

Wines 

  • The U.S. market share has increased considerably for wine in comparison to one decade ago.  American wine is now well-recognized.  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. 

Animal Feed 

  • Denmark has a large intensive livestock sector and is one of the leading pork producers in the EU.   Denmark depends on its own domestic animal feed production but lacks sufficient domestic supply of plant proteins.  During low Danish and EU grain harvests, the Danish feed industry increases its feed imports from other continents.  

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.