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Fewer Total Pigs, Sows in Germany Than One Year Ago

06 January 2014

GERMANY - The provisional results of the latest survey of pig farms in Germany, conducted in November 2013, shows there were 13 per cent fewer breeding farms and three per cent fewer sows than one year previously. These declines show signs of slowing down, however. Jackie Linden reports.

The latest results from Germany's national statistics agency, Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), there were 27,900 farms in the country with pigs on the survey date of 3 November 2013. This represents a slight decrease of 0.9 per cent from the previous survey in May 2013.

There were around 28.0 million pigs in the country, however, which is an increase of 1.3 per cent from six months previously. 

In the last year, there was a clear reduction in sow numbers, which is attributed to the new EU regulation on group sow housing, which came into effect at the start of 2013. The higher requirements to comply with the new laws that saw an end to sow stalls meant extensive investment for many farmers in new breeder housing. Not all farms were prepared to take on the financial commitment and instead many gave up their pig breeding enterprises.

This effect has declined in the most recent six-month period. Between November 2012 and May 2013, around 1,200 (or 9.6 per cent) of pig breeders ceased production, while just 400 (or 3,5 per cent) did so in the following seven months to November 2013. Around 10,800 breeding farms remain in business at the last count.

The total number of sows in Germany has hardly changed at 2.1 million, suggesting that the industry structure has stabilised again after the introduction of the sow group housing regulations.

Compared with six months previously, the number of finishing pigs increased by 1.6 per cent to around 12.4 million on November 2013. There were 23,500 German farms with growing-finishing pigs, which represents a fall of 1.3 per cent.

Numbers of pigs in Germany on 3 November 2013 (provisional figures)
    Results on 3/11/13 Change since 3 May 2013  Change since 3 November 2012 
  Number % Number % Number %
Farms with pigs 27,900 - -300 -0.9 -2,000 -6.6
of which:            
 - farms with growing pigs 23,500 84.3 -300 -1.3 -1,800 -7.2
 - farms with breeding sows 10,800 38.9 -400 -3.5 -1,600 -12.7
Total number of pigs 28,046,100 - 355,900 +1.3 -285,400 -1.0
of which:            
 - piglets 8,180,500 29.2 13,500 +0.2 63,900 +0.8
 - young pigs 5,434,100 19.4 147,600 +2.8 -177,700 -0.9
 - finishing pigs 12,352,100 44.0 197,500 +1.6 -106,500 -0.9
 - breeding sows 2,054,100 7.3 -800 0 -63,600 -3.0

ThePigSite News Desk

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