According to provisional figures published by Statistics Denmark, the number of pigs recorded on 1 October totalled 13.21 million head – down 1% compared to the same period last year but similar to the previous quarter.
AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins pointed out that in mind that the number of pigs recorded at this time in 2020 was likely boosted somewhat by processing delays due to COVID-19 challenges.
“Related to this, the number of pigs being fed for slaughter in Denmark declined by 2% year-on-year, accounting for most of the fall in the overall pig population,” said Ms Wilkins.
There was a decline of 2% in the breeding herd to 1.26 million head and a 7% decline in maiden gilts, which may suggest further decline in the future for the Danish pig breeding herd.
Piglet numbers were also down, decreasing by 1% to 2.69 million head. “This suggests productivity has not increased and compensated for falling sow numbers, as can often be the case,” commented Ms Wilkins.
She added: “The EU pig industry overall faces a challenging profitability situation at the moment, which might be expected to lead to further contraction in the Danish pig herd. However, the small degree of change seen so far may not have much overall impact on pig availability, particularly if productivity improvements are seen.”