Country Focus Data: Denmark
June 01, 1996
by Mindy Dake
Located on a peninsula in northern Europe, Denmark's capital is Copenhagen.
Demography: Population 5.2 million (July 1995), 70% urban; Danish language; Evangelical Lutheran religion (91%).
Geography: Temperate climate, low and flat to gently rolling terrain, bordered by the Baltic and North seas.
Official name: Kingdom of Denmark.
Government: Constitutional Monarchy. Chief of state is Queen Margrethe II, head of government is Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.
Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Economy: Denmark's economy is based on private ownership except for utilities, although the government in the past few years has begun to privatize some state enterprises, such as airports and telecommunications. Real growth in gross domestic product in 1994 was 4.5%, and the inflation rate in the past two years has been under 3%. Agriculture accounts for 4% of G.D.P. and employs 5.6% of the labor force.
G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$19,860 (1994).
Currency: Danish krone. May 21, 1996 exchange rate: 5.9509 Danish krone per U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$42.9 billion (f.o.b. 1994), of which agricultural exports were U.S.$7.7 billion; meat/meat products, dairy products, fish; primary partners, E.U., Norway, U.S.
Imports: U.S.$37.1 billion (c.i.f. 1994), of which agricultural imports were U.S.$2.8 billion; petroleum, machinery, chemicals, grain/foodstuffs; primary partners, E.U., Sweden, Norway, U.S.
Major agricultural crops and products: Wheat, barley, sugar beets, meat and dairy.
Wheat: Denmark, a member of the European Union, traditionally has produced high quality bread wheat varieties. But this pattern has changed in the past few years, as the higher yields obtained by growing feed quality wheat offset the price premium for growing traditional bread wheat. Even so, the amount of good bread-making wheat available for both the domestic market and exports generally remains adequate.
The narrowing of the price difference between feed wheat and bread wheat, based on reforms to the E.U. Common Agricultural Policy, has channeled more wheat into feed use. Wheat feed consumption continues to increase as wheat replaces barley in feed rations, primarily because prices for malting barley exceed wheat prices. Wheat also is replacing non-grain feed ingredients in feed rations. An expected steady expansion in pig numbers will increase the overall need for feed grains, including wheat. Consumption for food use should remain stable.
Feed grains: Barley remains the most important feed grain, but production of malting barley is on the increase because of the high premiums offered. This trend, along with lower wheat prices, has cut the amount of barley used for feed. Nonetheless, price competitiveness between barley, wheat and non-grain feed ingredients continues to dictate which feed component is used.
Oilseeds: Denmark's oilseed complex consists mainly of domestic rapeseed, rapeseed meal and oils and fish meals and oils. These are supplemented with imported soybeans, soybean and cottonseed meals and soybean and palm oil. Oilseeds exports consist of only rapeseed, while meal exports consist entirely of fish meal. In contrast to its self-sufficiency in oilseeds, Denmark's local production of oil meals accounts for only about 25% of domestic consumption requirements. Most of the deficits are covered with imported soybean meal.
Transportation: Railroads, 2,838 km, all 1.435-meter gauge; 71,042 km of highways, all paved; major ports are Alborg, Arhus, Copenhagen.