Small increase in Danish pig herd
Total pig numbers in Denmark showed a marginal increase in the year ending 1 October, according to the latest census figures released by Statistics Denmark, being ahead by 49,000 head.
With numbers continuing to grow, the herd is now at its highest level since the first quarter of 2010, despite growth dropping off slightly compared to the previous year. This was mainly driven by the increase in young pigs (under 50kg), which were up by 3% on the year. However, this was offset by a decline in slaughter pigs (over 50kg), resulting in the overall stability. Live weaner exports continued to grow throughout the year, with Germany and Poland remaining as the main destinations, which explains the differing trends.
The total breeding herd recorded a marginal decline on the year, with numbers dropping to just over 1 million head. This was mainly due to a decrease for in-pig gilts, down by nearly 2%, while the number of lactating sows was also slightly lower. In contrast, numbers of in-pig sows were up on the year, albeit only by 1,000 head. Looking ahead, maiden gilts showed an increase of 7%, indicating signs of positivity for the future, despite the difficult financial position of many Danish producers. Meanwhile, piglet numbers decreased by half a percent compared to October 2014, which could indicate a slowdown in productivity improvements.