Small rise in Scottish pig herd
The total number of pigs in Scotland recorded a 0.5% increase in the year to June, to 318,000 head, according to the latest figures published by the Scottish Government.
This is the second consecutive year that the total number of pigs in Scotland has increased, the first time that has happened since the late 1990s. The Scottish breeding herd increased by 2% in June, compared to the same point in 2014, to 30,800 head. Sows in pig increased by 2%, while gilts in pig increased by 8% year on year. Maiden gilts recorded the largest increase of 1800 head, or 35%, since June 2014, to 6,800 head. While the increase in maiden gilts could be a positive sign for the Scottish pig herd, it is worth bearing in mind that not all of these maiden gilts may actually end up being used for breeding.
Unlike the breeding herd, the Scottish finishing herd recorded a 0.4% decrease in June, compared to a year earlier, at 278,500 head. Finishing pigs of 80kg and over live weight recorded the largest decline, with pigs under 20kg recording a smaller decline. Nevertheless, the number of pigs between these two weights increased year on year. This suggests that there may be some variation in slaughterings in the coming months but that throughputs are likely to be broadly stable overall.