Year-end figures show further reduction of EU pig numbers

The EU pig herd is still declining according to the latest census results released by Eurostat.

“The EU pig breeding herd declined by 5% year-on-year in December 2016,” said AHDB Pork, based on the Eurostat figures. “This reflects the legacy of poor financial conditions experienced at the start of last year.”

Breeding herd numbers in both Germany and the Netherlands showed a 3% fall in December while Spain, the largest breeding herd in the EU, was reported to have declined by 2%.

In-pig sows and gilts, meanwhile, were down by 6% year-on-year, across the EU.

“Overall, the continuing decline of the EU breeding herd suggests that the current tight supply situation is likely to continue in the short to mid-term,” said AHDB pork.

“Prices are therefore expected to remain well above the lows experienced at the start of 2016, subject to the strength of the export market.”

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