German pig herd lower in November 2018
AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins sugested that the provisional results from November may indicate that through the early part of this year supplies could tighten on the key German market. Things could get even rougher if imports of Dutch slaughter pigs will continue to decline.
Through November, Germany experienced a loss of 4% in its breeding sow numbers and Wilkins said that he situation has got worse compared to the May census as the rate of decline has escalated. According to results from May 2018, breeding sow numbers were down by less than 3% year-on-year.
The number of piglests and young pigs also declined overall in the mentioned period by 5%. Fattening pig numbers were a little less affected though (-3%) suggesting productivity had been improving earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, Wilkins added, the number of pig breeding farms has declined in Germany to 7,800 units by 6% as 2018 was a tough year and farmers may have anticipated it could get even worse this year. "Difficult economic conditions, and a lack of optimism about the future due to a mix of declining consumption, increasing regulation and possibly even African Swine Fever in Belgium, may have led many units to close."
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