EU Pig Populations - April 2010

Figures are now available for the November/December 2009 census of pig numbers for most of the leading pig-producing countries in the European Union, which are analysed by Jackie Linden, editor of ThePigSite.
calendar icon 7 May 2010
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The latest report from the UK's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was published at the end of April 2010, and the latest data (shown in the table below) give the results of the census of the top 10 pig-producing countries in the EU (with one exception) from November/December 2009. For comparison, we have compared this latest data with the census for the same countries one year previously, November/December 2008.

Comparing the data sets between the two census periods can only give a guide to the situation because of the missing figures from Belgium and from the other 17 Member States. The latter added more than two million breeding animals and almost 21 million total pigs to the EU populations at the end of 2008.

Germany remains the country with the highest pig populations, now 26.6 million pigs in total and 2.2 million breeding animals. These figures were down 114,000 (-0.4 per cent) and 80,000 (-3.5 per cent) compared to the previous year.

Spain stays in number two position but the largest falls in pig numbers were recorded there. Total pigs were down by more than one million (-3.8 per cent) to 25.3 million, while there were 126,000 (or 4.9 per cent) fewer sows.

The country with the third-largest pig numbers is France, where there were also fewer pigs than the year before. Sow numbers were down by 15,000 (-1.3 per cent), and total pigs by 258,000 (-1.7 per cent).

Poland is not far behind. Here, however, total pig numbers were up marginally and there were 82,000 more sows (6.4 per cent).

The Danes also recorded more pigs than 12 months previously. There were 678,000 (+5.6 per cent) more pigs in total and the breeding herd was bigger by 4.4 per cent (57,000 animals).

Pig populations also grew in the Netherlands. Compared to the year earlier, there was a 7.3 per cent increase in the number of breeding animals (by 75,000) as well as 373,000 (or 3.2 per cent) more pigs overall.

Italy's total pig population had fallen by 95,000 (-1.0 per cent) over the year, and the breeding herd shrank by 1.4 per cent or 11,000 animals.

The total number of pigs in Romania was down by 281,000 (-4.5 per cent) and the sow herd fell by the same percentage (or 17,000 fewer animals).

In the UK, there were 22,000 more animals in the breeding herd (4.5 per cent), and 60,000 (1.3 per cent)more pigs overall.

Pig populations in the European Union, 2009 (thousand head)
December 2008
December 2009(p)
Total pigs Breeding sows Total pigs Breeding sows
European Union 27 (b) of which 153,082 13,950
Germany 26,719 2,296 26,604 2,216
Spain 26,290 2,542 25,287 2,416
Poland 14,242 1,279 14,253 1,361
France 14,810 1,200 14,552 1,185
Denmark 12,195 1,289 12,873 1,346
Netherlands 11,735 1,025 12,108 1,100
Italy 9,252 756 9,157 746
Romania 6,174 376 5,893 359
Belgium 6,208 543 n/a n/a
United Kingdom 4,550 487 4,610 509
All other Member States 20,908 2,156 n/a n/a
(p) = provisional
n/a = Figures not yet available
There is only one common period for pig population surveys across the EU, survey date in November/December.
Up to 2009, the main pig producing Member States to produce statistics at least twice yearly, survey date to be no more than six months apart.
From 2009, the main pig producers to produce statistics twice a year with survey dates to be May/June and November/December.

Further Reading

- You can view a report on pig slaughterings in the EU by clicking here.

May 2010
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