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Breeding Herd Declining in Major EU Pig Producing Countries

21 September 2016, at 6:00am

EUROPE - Initial figures released from Eurostat, from selected EU Member States, are indicative that there may be a decline in both the total pig herd and the breeding pig herd in the May/June census.

However, these results need to be treated with some caution as to the direction of the total herd size, as they omit major producing states such as Spain and the Netherlands.

However, the initial reporting countries do account for over 40 per cent of the total EU pig herd. All of the countries which have reported so far have posted a fall in the number of breeding sows and the total pig herd either has stood on, or is back, from the same period a year earlier.

Of the initial reporting countries, Germany posted the sharpest fall in its breeding sows, back 5 per cent. This movement supports the tightening of supplies that has been recorded in Germany and is indicative that this will continue in the short to mid-term. This may provide further support to the price, which has plateaued recently following strong growth since the spring.

The Danish breeding herd was also back 3 per cent on the year earlier and, therefore, we may see a similar effect on supplies and price that has been suggested for the German market, given price movements have been very similar over the spring and summer months.

Census results from other Member States, including the UK, are expected in the next few weeks

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