UK

Significant contraction in English pig breeding herd

Livestock

At the end of 2021, the female breeding herd was 295,000 head, 6.9% smaller than a year before, according to official data.

Posted on Jan 24 ,13:54

Significant contraction in English pig breeding herd

England's pig inventory has declined by almost 7% during 2021. The female breeding herd was 295,000 head, 6.9% (22,000 head) smaller than a year before. The number of sows is recorded to have fallen by 32,000 head, according to the latest data released by Defra. The data also shows that there were 3.7 million clean pigs on farms on that date, over 10% more than on the same date a year before.
"Producers in the sector have been beset by poor profitability for several quarters, facing rising costs and falling pig prices. Limits to growth in pig slaughter capacity mean large numbers of market-ready pigs are being held on farms, only making matters worse. As such, some producers are leaving the sector, while others reduce numbers," commented Duncan Wyatt, Lead Analyst - Red Meat, AHDB.
Limited workforce in the farming and processing sectors has been a challenge for the British swine industry during the last quarter of 2021. Besides that, pork prices in the UK are well above those reported in the EU, China, or other markets around the world, a situation that complicates the trade flow of pork for UK exporters.

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