UK pig herd numbers revised upwards

Final figures from Defra’s June 2013 Agricultural Survey show the UK’s pig herd figure has been revised upwards.

BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly reports that the change is largely the result of a new methodology used in Northern Ireland that has improved the coverage of its figures, but means they’re not directly comparable with earlier years.

The revised UK figures show a smaller fall in the female breeding herd, down 1% to 421,000 head, while maiden gilt and fattening pig numbers are up more than in previous estimates, by 6% and 9% respectively.

BPEX continues to question the increase in fattening pig numbers, however. The rise, which was mostly in England, has not been supported by higher slaughterings in the months since June, and since most of these pigs would have been finished by November, the organisation suggests that the increase was a statistical anomaly rather than a genuine increase in the herd size.

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