German pig herd decline raises hope of “tightening supplies”

German pig numbers have fallen to their lowest level since 2011, hinting at a future tightening in supplies, according to AHDB Pork.

Provisional figures from the country’s November census shows that the number of pigs in Germany was 3% down on the year at 27.5 million, with numbers down across all categories.

“Declines were particularly prevalent for breeding sows (-4%) and in-pig gilts (-6%), inferring that breeding herd rationalisation continues following a challenging financial year with declining pig prices,” said AHDB Pork.

“Over the past few months, prices for weaners in Germany have declined sharply, causing a large impact on breeding farms and resulting in a negative impact on the number of breeding sows and, therefore, young pigs. All pig types saw a decline, implying that optimism in the industry is falling and producers are looking to streamline their operations.”

AHDB Pork added that the reduction in the number of breeding sows in Germany is also likely to cause a longer term decline in production levels going through 2016.

“This may lead to a tightening in supply, potentially providing some support to prices,” it said.

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