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Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Higher pig numbers in Denmark

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2014 \ November \ Higher pig numbers in Denmark

According to the latest census figures for 1 October, total pig numbers had increased by 4% compared with the same date in 2014. This was the largest pig herd since the second quarter of 2011 and was a result of more pigs being kept for slaughter. The total breeding herd was unchanged from a year previously.

According to the latest census figures released by Statistics Denmark for 1 October, total pig numbers had increased by 4% compared with the same date in 2014, to 12.8 million head. This was the largest pig herd recorded since the second quarter of 2011 and was a result of more pigs being kept for slaughter. In particular, there were 7% more young pigs (under 50kg) and slaughter pigs (over 50kg) increased by 4% year on year. This is partly attributed to pigs being kept to heavier weights this year but it also suggests some slowdown in exports of weaners to other countries, where Germany and Poland are the key markets, given the significant fall in prices in recent months. Falling slaughter pig numbers have been an issue in the Danish pig industry for several years, so this year’s rise will be welcomed by processors who have struggled with declining throughputs.

Danish Pig Numbers

The total Danish breeding herd was unchanged from a year previously. In-pig sow numbers rose marginally but in-pig gilt numbers declined, so the total number of pregnant animals was unchanged. This meant that sow numbers were slightly lower than on 1 July, unlike last year, which could be the first sign that recent price falls are hitting producer confidence. However, the number of maiden gilts rose by 7% year on year, which suggests that some producers still have positive intentions. Piglet numbers increased by 2% compared with October 2013, indicating a further rise in productivity.