Danish sow numbers edge up again

The number of sows in Denmark has increased again based on data from the July 1 pig survey, following on from a small year on year increase in the April pig count, according to AHBD Pork.

“The rise remains small, however, at only 1%, in spite of further improvements in profitability as the finished pig market continued to move up,” said AHDB Pork, adding that the increase in the sow herd contributed to the 1% increase in total pig numbers in July even though live exports have continued to move up.

“The upturn in the breeding herd is confirmed by the fall in sow disposals, namely slaughterings and live exports, which were down by 4% in January-May 2017. However, in both April and July the increase in in-pig gilt numbers was still only around 1% on a year earlier while in July maiden gilt numbers declined by 1%. This would suggest that any further expansion in breeding pig numbers will remain muted.”

AHDB Pork also reported a 2% fall in the number of Danish slaughter pigs over 50kg on July 1, a move which represents a substantial improvement over the 8% reduction in April.

Live exports of weaners, meanwhile, have continued to increase although at a smaller rate. Data published by Landbrug & Fødevarer, the Danish agriculture and food board, indicates a 4% increase in the first five months of 2017 compared to an 11% rise in 2016.

“This increasing trade is continuing to reduce slaughterings of clean pigs in Denmark which were down 8% in the first five months of 2017,” said AHDB Pork. “This is reducing domestic Danish pig meat production and hence export availability within the total pig meat trade, excluding offals.

“This in turn seems to be having implications in its trade with the United Kingdom, the second largest market for Denmark, which was down 4% (in the July 1 figures).”

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