Polish pig production is declining
After 5 years of ASF presence in Poland, the disease is affecting Polish pork production, which fell by 1% in the first four months of 2019 to 702,400 tonnes. Last year, Poland has reported a 55 increase in production but that was due to producers exiting the industry, according to an AHDB analysis.
"Herd numbers declined drastically over 2018. Total pig numbers fell by around 880,500 head (-7%) from December 2017 to 2018 to sit at a three year low. Sow populations declined 18% over this period, signaling a downturn in domestic pig production", observes Alex Cook, AHDB analyst.
Between 2014-218, Poland has imported live pigs from Denmark to close the gap created in its farms by the increasing number of ASF outbreaks reported every year. "Live imports have prevented a larger decline in Polish pork production. Imports of live pigs under 50kg rose 27% in 2018, totaling 7.2 million head, with much of the stock of Danish origin. With ASF infecting large portions of the country, it would make sense to increase imports from non-affected areas as a short-term solution. However, weaner/store imports for Jan-April 2019 have eased 3% against last year", added Cook.
Despite the decrease of the pig hers, exports have grown to 827,600 tonnes (+2%) in 2018 and continued to do so in the first 4 months of the year, to reach 287,600 tonnes (4%). Nevertheless, since June, Germany, one of the largest importers of Polish pork has been blocked on the Filipino market after 250 kilos of pork from Poland were discovered in a shipment. The Philippines have placed a ban on Polish pork due to the ASF situation in the country. For the second half of the year, analysts are predicting further falls in Polish pork production.
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