Finnish Agriculture and Rural Industries 2010 - Pig Meat

Pig meat production in Finland in 2009 was around five per cent below the record output achieved the year before but the volume has increased significantly since the country joined the European Union in 1995, according to Jyrki Niemi and Jaana Ahlstedt of Agrifood Research Finland.
calendar icon 13 July 2010
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In 2009, pig meat production in Finland totalled 206,000 tonnes, which is 26 per cent more than in 1996. However, the volume last year was 11,000 tonnes or five per cent below the record level reached in 2008. The main reasons for the decrease were the decoupling of national aid, compensation for withdrawal from production and high feed prices in 2007-2008. According to Gallup Food and Farm Facts, in 2010, a little over 210,000 tonnes of pig meat will be produced, which is the lowest output since 2004.

Between 1996 and 2009, the number of slaughter pigs produced rose by 12 per cent to more than 2.34 million, and the average slaughter weight of fattening pigs increase by 6.1kg to 85.8kg. The number of sows slaughtered fell by 20 per cent but hat of fattening pigs increased by 13 per cent.

The size of pig farms more than doubled over the period, and the numbers of farms fell in all size categories except that for the largest farms (more than 300 sows or 3,000 fattening pigs). The number of piglets sold in 2009 was 132,000. Regionally, almost 75 per cent of pigs were fattened in Varsinais-Suomi and Satakunta in southwestern Finland and three regions of Ostrobothnia.

In 2009, pig meat consumption rose to 183,600 tonnes, which is nine per cent more than in 1996. Exports of pig meat totalled 45,200 tonnes in 2009. This is about six times the exports in 1995 but 18 per cent below the record year of 2008.

Finnish pig meat exports were almost equally shared by Russia, EU countries and other non-EU countries. At the end of the 1990s, about 50 per cent of exports still went to Russia. Now, important target destinations for Finnish pig meat products include Sweden and the Baltic States, especially Estonia, as well as South Korea and Japan.

Pig meat imports to Finland totalled 23,400 tonnes, which is about 12.8 per cent of domestic consumption. Pig meat imports tripled between 1995 and 2009. Most of the product came from Denmark and Germany, which has now become the largest supplier. In 2009, more than half of processed meats came from Sweden. The simultaneous increase in imports and exports has been observed in most OECD countries.

Production of beef, pig meat, poultry meat and eggs in Finland from 1995 to 2009
(Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Livestock production in Finland from 1995 to 2009
(Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Producer Prices

When Finland joined the European Union in 1995, both the price support paid for agricultural products and producer prices decreased. Price reductions were to some extent compensated by increased direct income support. Of the main livestock products, the price of eggs fell the most (-65 per cent) and the price of milk the least (-28 per cent).

The price of pig meat has varied considerably in recent years. The European pig meat market has been affected by a number of factors, including classical swine fever in the Netherlands in 1997-1998, soaring feed prices in 2007-2008 and the eastward enlargement of the EU.

In 2009, market prices of livestock products in the EU influence their prices in Finland but Finnish prices also have special characteristics.

The average producer price for pig meat in 2009 was €1.41 per kilo, which was about two per cent lower than the year before. The average price paid for a 30-kg piglet was €60, which was about two per cent higher than in 2008.

Producer prices for the most important livestock products in Finland from 1999 to 2009, including production support
(€/100kg; milk, €/100 litres. The figures include estimated retroactive payments

Market prices for livestock products in selected EU countries in 2009

Producer prices for beef, pig meat, poultry meat and eggs in Finland from 1995 to 2009
(Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

July 2010
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