EU pig heard has contracted in 2018
A decline of 1.2% was reported in the EU pig herd in the year to December 2018, the total inventory reaching to 148 million head, according to a Eurostat report. Most of this decline was due to a 4% fall in the German pig herd, alongside 7% fewer pigs in Poland. Also, the number of breeding female pigs has declined by 360,000 head (3%), with Poland reporting the largest decline (-164,000 head) followed by the Netherlands (-96,000 head).
"Ongoing difficulties with African Swine Fever seem to have finally caught up with the Polish industry, which had nonetheless been expanding since 2015. The Netherlands also reported a marked decline in maiden gilts (-31,000 head), suggesting future numbers may be affected", explained Hannah Clarke, Trainee Analyst, AHDB.
In Spain, the breeding sow number has grown by 2% (46,000 head) helping the country's overall pig herd to increase by 833,000 head/ Spain is one of the few major pork producers in Europe that increased its national pig inventory thanks to growing volumes of pork exports to China and Japan.
The number of non-breeding pigs in the EU28 also fell on the year, although to a lesser extent than the breeding herd, with Romania reporting the largest drop.