Pig census results from some key EU member states show a more positive picture than in recent years, according to BPEX.
Quoting provisional results from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy, BPEX commented that lower feed prices this year have meant some producers were able to expand, resulting in a 1% increase in overall pig numbers across these countries. They also said that total sow numbers are currently up on a year ago, although with slightly fewer gilts present in the breeding herd.
“The member states which have reported so far represent just under half of the total EU pig herd,” said BPEX, adding that the overall situation will become clearer once figures from other major producers, such as Poland, France and Spain, are released in the coming weeks.
Having, in recent days, already analysed German and Danish pig herd expansion (up by 1% and 2% respectively) the BPEX focus this week kicked-off with results from the Netherlands where, despite overall numbers remaining “almost unchanged from last year”, sow numbers increased by 1% and total piglets by 2%, highlighting “further productivity gains”.
“In addition,” said BPEX, on the Netherlands’ figures, “maiden gilt numbers increased by 5% year-on-year, suggesting producer intentions to expand in the near future.
“In contrast, provisional figures for Italy indicate a 1% decline in total pig numbers and a 2% drop in breeding sows. A sharp reduction in gilt numbers (both in-pig and maiden gilts) suggests further declines ahead. Industry reports indicate a struggling Italian pig industry, resulting from animal health concerns and carcase utilisation challenges.”
Regarding smaller producing states, BPEX said that the Hungarian figures show an increasing herd while pig numbers are lower in Austria and Romania.