German breeding pig herd in decline
The number of sows in November, in Germany, stood at 1.78 million, down by 3% compared the previous year. The decline was related to an 8% reduction in the number of holdings keeping sows, according to Eurostat figures.
Overall, the pig sector in Germany is confronted with a decline of 2% in the national pig inventory, going from 26,445,000 head in 2018 to 25,926,000 million in 2019. The figures indicate that pig supplies are likely to remain tight during 2020, particularly in the second half of the year, despite the number of piglets remaining stable (7.6 million head).
"Increasingly demanding animal welfare regulations and uncertainty over planning future investments have influenced this decline. The ban on castration without anaesthesia from 2021 has likely been influential. Reports suggest producers with smaller herds, in particular, have left the sector. With ASF getting closer to the German border, it is unlikely that optimism has increased in recent months, despite strong pig prices," considers Bethan Wilkins, senior analyst, AHDB.
Germany's meat consumption has been on a steady decline since 2011, with the steepest drop occurring between 2015 and 2016 when it dropped to 59 kilograms per person from 60.6 per person. Last year, due to prices jumping from €1.35 to over €2 it was an 8% decrease in pork consumption in the country.
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