German pig population smallest in 25 years

AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins reports


by Global Ag Media

via The Pig Site - 13 January 2022


The latest figures reveal that the German pig herd decline continued throughout 2021, driven by poor market conditions and the presence of African swine fever within the country.


At 23.6 million head, the overall pig population at the start of November was down by 9% compared to the previous year, reported Bethan Wilkins, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Senior Analyst for Red Meat, citing Germany's Federal Statistics office.


Within this, the number of sows totalled 1.57 million head, a decline of 7% compared with a year earlier. Poor market conditions, influenced by the presence of African swine fever within the German wild boar herd, which limits export opportunities, will be influencing the decline, said Wilkins. She also expressed concerns around the further spread of this disease within Germany and regulatory changes.


"Pessimism about future prospects for the German pig industry can also be seen in the number of holdings keeping pigs," said Wilkins. "This was down to 18,800 in the latest survey, an 8% decline on 2020."


Looking at pigs available to come forward in the coming months, Wilkins said the number of piglets was down by 10% at 6.92 million...


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