Spanish expansion limits decline in overall EU pig herd

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

By Bethan Wilkins

Provisional results of pig censuses from various EU Member States show that the pig herd has only declined slightly over the year to June 2021.

Census results are available from 12 countries, which covers about 90% of the EU pig herd. Overall, pig numbers across these countries were down by 0.5%, while breeding sow numbers were down by 1.3%.

With further falls in pig prices having taken place after the surveys were conducted, as well as ongoing high feed prices, further contraction is expected in the latter part of the year. Indeed, increased numbers of older, heavier pigs supported the total overall, with numbers of younger pigs showing some decline compared to last year. Nonetheless, only limited breeding herd decline (due to stronger maiden gilt numbers) could limit any contraction in pig numbers going forward.

Unless export markets improve, these supply levels may not offer much relief to the ongoing pressure on farmgate prices.

Previously, we have reported on Census results from Denmark, Germany and Ireland. These results, combined with the other countries that have now released figures, paint a rather mixed picture. Alongside Germany, sharp falls in pig numbers were recorded in Romania, Poland, and the Netherlands. In contrast, Spain was still reporting reasonable growth in both total pig numbers and the sow herd.

It may be that strong Spanish exports early in the year, helped by reduced competition from Germany due to the spread of African Swine Fever there, encouraged expansion. However, with the Chinese market now more difficult, Spanish pork markets have been under pressure.

Image of staff member Bethan Wilkins

Bethan Wilkins

Senior Analyst - Red Meat

Sign up for regular updates

Subscribe to receive pork market news straight to your inbox. Simply complete our online form.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at info@ahdb.org.uk  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved. 

×