German pig population falls to 25-year low

The latest figures from the Federal Statistics Office show that the German pig herd decline continued throughout 2021, falling to its lowest population number in 25 years, AHDB has reported.

The overall pig population at the start of November was 23.6 million head, down by 9% compared to the previous year. The number of sows totalled 1.57 million head, a decline of 7% compared with a year earlier.

AHDB lead analyst Behan Wilkins said that poor market conditions, influenced by the presence of African Swine Fever within the German wild boar herd, which has limited the country’s export opportunities, are likely to be influencing the decline.

The number of holding keeping pigs has fallen by 8% since 2020 to 18,8000.

The number of piglets was down by 10% at 6.92 million, meaning there will be fewer pigs coming forward in the coming months.

Table of the german census results

Ms Wilkins said: “The figures clearly indicate that German pig supplies are set to contract during 2022, with declines expected to be seen throughout the year. The extent to which this tightens overall EU supplies remains to be seen.”

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