Shape Shape author Shape chevron cross Shape Shape Shape Group hamburger home Group magnify Shape Shape Shape rss Shape

European Pig Statistics and Production Forecasts - April 2003

By Claude Vidal, Francis Weiler and Robert Poschacher, Eurostat - This article combines two reports from Eurostat. The first looks at pig numbers in the European Union and the second reviews estimated pig production to the second quarter of 2003 and concludes with a survey on pig populations in April, May and June 2002.
calendar icon 7 April 2003
clock icon 1 minute read

European Pig Statistics

The European Union produces one in five of the world's pigs. This production comes from a substantial and highly concentrated pig population estimated at 123 million animals in 2000.

Nine regions, covering 10 % of the Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA), account for half the total number and over 50% of Europe's pigs are produced by holdings with over 1,000 pigs.

The potential impact of the pig population on the environment is therefore significant, although various agricultural practices are being introduced to help reduce pollution from this sector.

One in five of the world's pigs comes from the European Union.

The production of pigmeat in the EU was estimated at 17.6 million carcass equivalent tonnes in 2000, which is about one-fifth of world production.

This production increased by 11 % between 1995 and 1999 despite the outbreak of swine fever in 1996-97. Following a situation of overproduction which led to a drop in prices in 1998 and 1999, production was down slightly in 2000, thus marking the end of a production cycle.

In Germany, production remained stagnant until 1997, returning in 1998 to its 1991 level of 3.8 million tonnes per annum (Figure 1).

Spain saw a substantial increase in production throughout this period (+55 %); in 2000, it produced close to 3 million tonnes, making it the EU's second-largest producer.

In Denmark (+28 %), where pigmeat accounted for 79 % of the country's meat production in 2000, and in France (+21 %), production has also increased although it is tending now to level off.

In the Netherlands, leaving aside the swine fever outbreak of 1997, the dip in production in recent years can be attributed to the political decision to reduce the pig population.

To continue reading this PDF report and and view all the tables Click Here

EU Production Forecasts for Second Quarter 2003

According to the market forecasts by the Member States and Eurostat, pig production in the European Union (EU-15) in 2002 was 0.5% up on 2001.

Up to the first half of 2003 production is forecast to decrease by 0.2% compared with 2002. The survey on pig populations in April, May and June show a decline of 0.8% in 2002 compared with the previous year. The total pig population in the EU is therefore 120.2 million.

Downward trend in pig populations in the EU

Surveys on pig populations in the EU Member States in April/May- June 2002 show a slight decline in relation to 2001 (-0.8%).

This figure of 120.2 million, which corresponds to approximately 13% of the world pig population, is still relatively high.

The largest decreases were recorded in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, while in Spain the total pig population rose by 4.6%.

A slight downward trend in pig production

Figure 1 shows trends in gross indigenous production (GIP) on the pig market from the first quarter of 1999 to the second quarter of 2003.

There is a slight downward trend in pig production, although it remains at a relatively high level. Pigmeat production always tends to be highest in the last quarter of the year.

GIP in the individual Member States (see table) shows that pig production is on the decline particularly in Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The five biggest producers of pigmeat in EU-15 are Denmark, Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands, which together account for more than 73% of total EU output.

To view the full PDF report and tables Click Here

Source: Eurostat - Statistics in focus AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES THEME 5. - January 2003

© European Communities, 2003