UK Pig Herd Goes Down and Down (December 2008)

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in December 2008 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.
calendar icon 4 December 2008
clock icon 5 minute read

The UK pig breeding herd numbers are continuing to fall according to the December issue of the Whole Hog.

It shows that the breeding herd numbers fell to 423,000 head in June seven per cent below June 2007 and 9.6 per cent below June 2006.

The total pig numbers fell by 3.7 per cent compared to June 2007 to 4.655 million head. This was 5.6 per cent down on June 2006.

The Whole Hog says that the breeding herd is expected to fall to around 400,000 by the end of this year.

The Whole Hog adds that the global breeding her is decreasing in almost all the main producer countries. This is on the back of a spike in feed prices this year.

The EU has been badly hit with the German herd down by six per cent, the Danish herd down by 6.5 per cent and the Spanish herd down by 12 per cent and the Polish herd showing a fall of more than 20 per cent.

The Whole Hog says that the herds are falling in Australia, the US and Canada as well.

By relating the decline in the pig herds to the strength of their export markets, The Whole Hog says that the impact of the decline can be seen on export prices.

FAO Forecasts Rise in Production

The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation predicts that pig meat production around the world will rise slightly next year to 101 million tonnes.

The Whole Hog says that a modest increase will be seen in China despite the problems it has experienced with natural disasters and disease. It ass that output is also expected to increase in South Korea, the Philippines and Viet Nam.

Latin America is set to see pig meat production rise by three per cent thanks to a bumper feed crop harvest, while Russia could see a seven per cent increase.

The Whole Hog's Index of global prices shows weekly increases of 0.3 per cent over the last month, with November being the seventh month in a row to record and upward trend.

However, the Whole Hog says that the numbers are now starting to look weak and predicts a turn in the market.

Pig prices in the EU have continued to rise, but the Whole Hog says that the rate of rise in the Eurozone has dropped.

Exchange rates are starting to play an important role for those EU countries not in the Euro. However, the Whole Hog says that the effect of the strengthening of the Euro against the weaker currencies might only be fully seen next year.

US and Canadian Exports Up

Canadian pork exports have increased by 9.8 per cent to 817,816 tonnes in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2007.

This increase is mainly due to a continued rise in exports to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia and the Philippines.

However, the rises to the Asian markets has slight been offset by fall in exports to two other major markets for Canadian pork - the US and Australia.

US pork exports have also remained up at 156,109 tonnes. Although this was down on the August figure by 5.9 per cent, it was a year-on-year increase of 62.1 per cent.

Japan remained the main market for US pork, with 22.7 per cent market share. Although the US shipped 8.7 per cent less to Japan in September compared to August, over all its exports rose by 26.7 per cent to 333,741 for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in last year.

Australian pig meat exports shrank in August by 12.4 per cent compared to last year.

The Whole Hog says that the main reason for this fall of 521 tonnes was a drop in volume to Singapore of 30 per cent.

Japan and Korea See Imports Rise

During August, Japan imported 68,876 tonnes, 4.6 per cent less pork than in July and 2.1 per cent less than August a year ago.

Despite this slight fall in monthly totals, the Whole Hog shows that year to date imports were up by 5.7 per cent to 543,635 tonnes.

South Korea's imports of 24,281 tonnes for September were also down on the previous month - by 6.3 per cent, but they were up on September a year ago by 9.6 per cent.

The Whole Hog says that overall South Korea's imports for the year were 3.1 per cent higher than in 2007 at 259,946 tonnes.

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.